Olympics:  Australia Highlights at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Olympics: Australia Highlights at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Australia's performance at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing was redeemed as outstanding. The Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates, exclaimed, "we optimized our opportunities, and we optimized our performance." He also noted that, "the great majority of athletes had the opportunity to compete at their best and they did so." With this positive attitude, Australian athletes and supporters seemed fairly pleased with their standing at the 2008 summer Olympics.

In the running for improved athletes and countries overall, Australia topped the list. Alongside them were Great Britain, and the US. Unlike countries such as Germany, France, and Russia who this year performed below their normal expectations, Australia is more than likely to be in the top running in future Olympic games.

Some games highlights for Australian athletes include: the dominating women's swim team, and Stephanie Rice's 3 gold medal wins; Steve Hooker and his victory in the pole vault; Ken Wallace's rush to win gold in the K1 500m kayak; and finally diver Matthew Mitcham's gold finish in the 10m platform.

John Coates comments on the most emotional highlight - Australian athlete Matthew Mitcham. He said that, "the poise and the focus of Matthew, and what he achieved was simply outstanding."

The Australian team was well prepared for both the heat and pollution in Beijing – something that they are not normally used to. But, with that being said, they may find it easier at the next summer games being in London, where they are used to competing. Gaining on Britain's medal count is also something that will motivate the Australian Team immensely.

But overall, Australia deemed themselves as professionally outstanding athletes. They tend to challenge different countries in different events, making them a well-rounded Olympic Team. Although they haven't come quite as far as the Chinese Olympic Team, they may excel and become a more challenging threat over the next few years.