More women than men in historic summer Olympic Team

Articles | Wednesday, Jul 27, 2016

For the first time at a Summer Olympic Games Australia will be represented by more women than men.

With the addition of a women’s eight rowing crew to this Team will grow to 419 athletes – 212 women and 207 men.

This comes at a time when Kitty Chiller is Australia’s first female Chef de Mission and Fiona de Jong is the Australian Olympic Committee’s first Chief Executive Officer.

“Gender balance has been something that has been incredibly important in the Olympic movement, and particularly to Australia,” Chiller said at a press conference in Rio today.

“It was only at the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010 that Australia reached gender parity for the first time, and it is a proud achievement to reach a stage where there are more females than males on this Team,” Chiller said.

The 2014 Olympic Winter Team was the first with 31 women and 29 men.

Chiller said this historic achievement for a summer Team sends a strong message about women’s sport in Australia. 

“It’s a very strong statement it shows that women’s sport is genuine sport. It is elite competition just as much as the male has been over time. It’s about time that the female athletes were given the credit and the recognition and the accolades that they so richly deserve.”

Canoe kayak London silver medallist Jessica Fox was excited by the prospect of being joined by so many females in the Australian team.

“Women’s sport in Australia is really taking off and females athletes have really had more recognition in the last couple of years I think it’s really growing

“To see all the female athletes who will be here in Rio going for gold, going to represent their country the best they can and proud to be at the Olympics and obviously we are all here to do our best and I know we are going to be great role models,” Fox said.

The Team of 419 will be the 5th largest Australian team at an Olympic Games behind Sydney (632), Athens (482), Beijing (435), and Atlanta (424).

Recent Summer Games

Rio – 50.6% female                                                             
London – 45.4% female 
Beijing – 45.9% female
Athens – 43.2% female
Sydney – 44.8% female


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