"The 10 year Green & Gold runway to Brisbane 2032"
On the 21st of July 2021, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Brisbane as the host city of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This is exciting news for the state and the country, with the last Olympic Games hosted in Australia, Sydney 2000, being an incredible success. The opportunity to host the Olympic Games will see an exponential growth of sport, while providing young Queensland athletes the chance to work towards competing at an Olympics in their own state or country.
In celebration of this exciting news, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has announced the “Green & Gold Runway”, which starts on the 23rd of July 2022, marking the 10-year countdown to Brisbane 2032. The AOC, in collaboration with Paralympics Australia, Brisbane City Council, the Queensland Government, and the Australian Government, are encouraging everybody to get involved in the countdown. To find out how you can get involved in the Green & Gold Runway, visit the AOC website.
With today marking 10 days until the 10-year runway, let’s take a look at 10 Queensland gymnasts who have shaped Queensland’s history by representing Gymnastics at an international level, and doing their state proud!
1. Kylie Shadbolt
(1992) Women’s Artistic Gymnastics
In 1989, Kylie became the first Queensland (and Australian) gymnast to win gold internationally at the Konica Grand Prix in Brisbane. She then went on to make her Olympic debut at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
2. Lisa Skinner
(1996, 2000, 2004) Women’s Artistic Gymnastics
Lisa was the first Australian gymnast to qualify for an individual event final at the Olympics. Having started her gymnastics training at Lawnton Academy in 1987 before moving to GQ's High Performance Centre in 1990, Lisa competed at four World Championships alongside three Olympic Games and was the Australian National Champion in 1996 and 1997.
3. Damian Istria
(2000) Men’s Artistic Gymnastics
Having competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Damian then went on to represent Australia at the 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games. He was celebrated on Australian Postage stamps following winning his gold medal at the 2006 games. Damian grew up in Brisbane, training at GQ’s High Performance Centre.
4. Ji Wallace
(2000) Trampoline Gymnastics
Ji’s athletic career started at Wynnum PCYC in Brisbane, leading him to be the only Australian gymnast to win a World Championship, set a world record, and win an Olympic medal. In 1996, Ji won gold in the double mini trampoline, and then went on to set the world record at the same event in 1998. He also won silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, which was Trampoline Gymnastics Olympic debut.
5. Lesley Daly
(2004) Trampoline Gymnastics
Competing at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Lesley was the oldest trampolining competitor at the age of 38. She competed in women’s individual trampoline, in which she finished 13th.
6. Sam Simpson
(2008) Men’s Artistic Gymnastics
Sam was the sole Men’s Artistic Gymnast at the 2008 Beijing Olympic games. He competed at his first state championships at just eight years of age, as well as three World Championships in 2003, 2006, and 2007.
7. Naazmi Johnston
(2008) Rhythmic Gymnastics
Starting gymnastics at the age of five, Naazmi made the High Performance Program only two years later. She then went on to compete at her first World Championships in 2005, as well as the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, where she finished fourth in the all-around and won a team bronze. In 2008, Naazmi was the only rhythmic gymnast to represent Australia in Beijing, where she finished 22nd. She was also a member of the Australian Rhythmic Gymnastics Team who won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
8. Larrissa Miller
(2012 Olympics, 2009 World Championships) Women’s Artistic Gymnastics
Larrissa first came onto the international gymnastics’ scene in 2009, after she placed 7th in the bars final at the World Championships. From there, she went on to place 1st in 2012 at the Gymnix International, and 3rd at the Zibo World Cup. She won her first national title at the 2014 Australian Gymnastics Championships, and then went on to compete at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Larrissa was also the only Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Australian competitor at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
9. Joshua Jefferis
(2012) Men’s Artistic Gymnastics
Having competed at two Commonwealth Games and six World Championships, Joshua solidified himself in GQ’s history when he was a part of the male team that won gold for the first time at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. He then went on to compete at the 2012 London Olympic Games, where he received an all-around result of 19th.
10. Danielle Prince
(2016) Rhythmic Gymnastics
Danielle has five Australian titles, a total of 27 all-around and apparatus gold medals, and has finished on the senior all-around podium 9 years in a row. She was a part of the Australian Rhythmic Gymnastics Team that won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and was the first Australian female gymnast to compete in three Commonwealth Games (2010, 2014, and 2018). She also competed at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, where she finished 24th.
Looking back at the incredible gymnastic talent Queensland has produced over the years, including these 10 and many more, GQ is excited to continue to grow and develop the rising stars of the future, that will help shine a light on our state when they represent Queensland and Australia in Brisbane 2032.
If you take part in any “Green & Gold Runway” celebrations, make sure to tag Gymnastics Queensland on social media, so we can see you joining in on the fun!