Skeleton sport in Australia
Australia created a female team in the sport of skeleton in the hope of winning a medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics. Physiologists Dr David Martin and Dr Angus Ross looked at a list of winter sports. They regarded the women's division of the sport as not currently being strongly competitive, therefore athletes in non-winter sports who possess the traits that would make a good skeleton athlete could win a medal.
The tests included their ability to sprint over 30 metres, body type and attitude. Training included practicing starts using a skeleton sled with wheels underneath. 35 people were selected for a training camp, and 10 comprised a squad that competed in the sport internationally.
The athletes tested their wind resistance in Monash University's wind tunnel to see which body positions would be the most aerodynamic. The university's aerodynamicist said that the testing enabled the athletes to reduce drag by between five and ten percent.
Five athletes were selected for the shadow team.
- Shaun Boyle, born 30 January 1971. The only male athlete in the skeleton shadow team.
- Melissa Hoar, surf lifesaving sportswoman. Dalmeny resident.
- Bindee Johnston (formerly Bindee Goon Chew), 100m and 200m sprinter. Townsville resident.
- Emma Lincoln-Smith, surf lifesaving sportswoman.
- Michelle Steele, surf lifesaving sportswoman. Born 8 March 1986. Bundaberg resident.
Another recruitment drive occurred in mid-2006. Candidates will be assessed on spatial and body awareness, useful in driving a sled, as well as sprinting ability. Ten candidates will attend a training camp, and up to five will join Steele, Lincoln-Smith and Hoar in the national squad.
- Winter sport in Australia
- Australia at the Winter Olympics
- Australia at the 2006 Winter Olympics
- Faisal Faisal, an Iraqi skeleton athlete living in Sydney, Australia
- Sliding Sports Australia is the National Sporting Organisation that administers Skeleton in Australia
- AIS finds good skeleton is all in the physiology Sydney Morning Herald, 16 February 2006.
- Slippery slope to success Press release by Australian National University
- Skeleton team races the wind Press release by Monash University.
- Steele set for skeleton Games berth The Age, 10 January 2005.
- Candidates thrown in head first The Australian 13 September 2006
- Women wanted for death-defying skeleton Press release by Australian Sports Commission looking for potential athletes. Published 18 August 2004.