Colin Coates

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Colin Coates coaching Pascal Briand at the World Allround Championships in Hamar in 2009.

Colin Victor Coates (born 4 April 1946 in Richmond, Melbourne, Victoria) is a former ice speed skater from Australia, who represented his native country in – a record – six consecutive Winter Olympics, starting in 1968 in Grenoble, France.

He competed in six Winter Olympics, starting in 1968 at Grenoble, at age 21, before finishing at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada, aged 41. He competed over 10,000m, 5000m, 1500m, 1000m and the 500m, for a best placing of 6th in the 10,000m in Innsbruck, Austria, during the 1976 Winter Olympics, this was also at the time, Australia's best ever placing in a Winter Olympics. He would finish his Olympic Career in Controversial Circumstances, as although technically listed as an Athlete for the 1988 Winter Olympics in the 10,000m, he was in reality a coach, with his Athletic Listing, simply to make up numbers, so that the Olympic Team could take more Support Staff and also to allow Coates, the ability to skate on the Ice with the rest of the Team during Practise. He was told by Chef de Mission Geoff Henke, that he was not to compete, due to the Australian Skating Union refusing to give their permission. After multiple denied requests by Coates, he gave the impression of having accepted his fate. He would instead, take part in the event, without Henke's knowledge. Henke was furious and attempted to take him off the Ice mid race, when he discovered that Coates had gone behind his back, instead he saw the crowd, which included Carl XVI Gustaf, the King of Sweden, cheering Coates on, and instead decided to wait until he had finished. Coates would finish with an Australian Record time of 14:41.88, to place 26th out of 32. After being admonished by Henke, Coates received a telegram from then Australian Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, congratulating him on a great performance at his 6th Olympic Games.


Personal records[edit]

Personal records
Men's Speed skating
Event Result Date Location Notes
500 m 40.14 1976-03-13 Inzell
1,000 m 1:19.47 1976-03-13 Inzell
1,500 m 2:00.79 1979-01-26 Davos
5,000 m 7:12.95 1984-01-07 Inzell
10,000 m 14:41.88 1988-02-21 Calgary

See also[edit]