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Queensland to celebrate Tokyo 2020 athletes

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Image credit: @ausolympicteam

Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic athletes from Queensland will be cheered at the official Welcome Home celebration in Brisbane next week, on Friday October 8th.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Olympic and Paralympic athletes from Queensland will reunite at the COVID-safe event at King George Square so a home crowd can applaud their fantastic achievements.

“It will be a great day for Queensland as we honour and congratulate the talented athletes who did us proud in Tokyo,” the Premier said.

“The welcome will be even more exciting, knowing that we have also been chosen to host the Games in 2032.

“For the first time, Olympians and Paralympians will have a joint celebration, and I invite Queenslanders to share the atmosphere on Friday week for a day to remember.”

Queensland-based athletes won 56 medals at the Olympics and Paralympics, with a 28-medal haul in individual and team events at each of the Games.

These included Australian Paralympians from Queensland winning nine gold, eight silver and 11 bronze, contributing 28 medals to Australia’s total of 80. Australian Olympians based in Queensland brought home 28 out of Australia’s total of 46 medals at the Olympics, with 13 gold, four silver and 11 bronze.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said our Olympians and Paralympians performed remarkably in Tokyo and he was honoured to be awarding them with the Keys to the City.

“I encourage mums and dads, grandparents and carers to bring their children to King George Square and see these sporting heroes awarded with the Keys to the City,” Cr Schrinner said.

“This is a great opportunity for kids to start dreaming of emulating the success of our Olympians and Paralympians on home soil when the Games are held in Brisbane in 2032.”

AOC CEO Matt Carroll AM thanked the Premier and the Lord Mayor for honouring our remarkable Australian Olympic and Paralympic Teams.

“This Olympic Team was not only one of the most successful to leave Australia but one that inspired the nation through their humility and sportsmanship.”

“Inspirations like 5-time gold medallist Emma McKeon and our amazing swim team.

“The spectacular work of Logan Martin in freestyle BMX, outstanding performance of sailors Mat Belcher and his crew Will Ryan, the nail-biting finish of Jean van der Westhuyzen and Tom Green and that race of mates, Dubler and Moloney.

“Their stories demonstrated the power of sport, showing that sport can bring us all closer together and celebrate what is great about this nation.

“The successes of Tokyo provides the foundation as we line up on the 10 year runway to the Games of the XXXV Olympiad. The once in a generation opportunity for all Australians.

“Next week’s Official Welcome Home gives Queenslanders the opportunity to celebrate this extraordinary Team’s achievement.”

Paralympics Australia Chief Executive Officer Lynne Anderson said, “Para-athletes from Queensland made up less than a quarter of the Australian Paralympic Team for Tokyo 2020, yet won more than half of our gold medals, an incredible result.

“It just goes to show what a remarkable culture of sporting success emanates from this great state and it’s another reason why we at Paralympics Australia are so excited about the journey towards the Brisbane 2032 Paralympics.

“While our fans weren’t physically able to travel from Queensland to support our Paralympians in Tokyo, our athletes certainly felt their overwhelming backing from home.

“I’d like to thank Premier Palaszczuk and Lord Mayor Schrinner for providing our Queensland Paralympians the opportunity to show their deep appreciation for that support, and their ongoing contribution to the Australian Paralympic movement,” she said.

Australia’s leading Paralympic medallist at Tokyo 2020, with three gold medals and one silver, William Martin said, “I was extremely proud to represent Queensland as part of the Australian Paralympic Team in Tokyo and I’m so thankful for the opportunities growing up in this state have given me as I’ve pursued my swimming career.

“On behalf of my fellow local Paralympians, thank you to the Premier and the people of Queensland for your amazing support. We’re glad you enjoyed the Games.”

Proud Queenslander, flag bearer and dual Tokyo gold medallist Cate Campbell is looking forward to being at the celebrations.

“This was a very different Olympic Games, there was a positivity and a closeness between the everyone in the Olympic Team that really connected us all making Tokyo a very special experience.”

“Now being able to celebrate the success of our Team together with the unbelievable performances and success of the Paralympic Team further extends this connectedness and adds even more to such an incredible Games.”

The official Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Welcome Home celebration will take place at King George Square, Brisbane, 12pm-1pm on Friday 8 October.

This will be a COVID-safe event.

Attendees must wear masks where it is not possible to be socially distanced, and follow all COVID-safe regulations.

Queensland Govt Media Release

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