Big news today for the Australian snow sports world as Olympic Winter Institute of Australia CEO, Geoff Lipshut, is appointed Chef de Mission for the Australian Olympic Team for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games in 2022.
The AOC Executive today approved Mr Lipshut’s appointment to lead the Australian Team for the first time. However, he’s no stranger to the Winter Olympics, having been a coach or official at seven Games, starting with Lillehammer in 1994.
He succeeds Ian Chesterman who will lead the Australian Team to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to be held in 2021.
AOC President John Coates says there’s no better qualified person to take up the reigns given his long association with Australia’s winter athletes and the Winter Games environment.
“Australia continues to take great strides in the Winter Games and Geoff can take considerable credit for that progress” said Coates.
“Not only for his role at past Games but also in his capacity as the inaugural CEO of the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia.
“He has been recognised by the IOC, been a member of the Australian Winter Team Executive as performance director since Vancouver 2010 and subsequently Deputy Chef de Mission for Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang in 2018. Geoff was also awarded an AOC Order of Merit in 2018.”
Geoff Lipshut acknowledged the work of his predecessors and the athletes who continue to excel in the winter environment.
“It is an honour to follow in the footsteps of two generational leaders Geoff Henke AO and Ian Chesterman AM who have shaped winter sports in Australia over the past 12 Olympic Games” said Lipshut.
“I look forward to the opportunity of working together with our winter athletes, their coaches and National Federations on the journey towards Beijing in February 2022. I am confident that our athletes will be doing their best to meet the challenges over the next 22 months to be ready for the Games in China.”
AOC Vice President Ian Chesterman, who has led the Australian Team to the past six Winter Olympic Games, welcomed Geoff’s appointment.
“His impact on winter sport in this country, through his pioneering role with aerial skiing and his role as CEO of the Olympic Winter Institute, has been immense.
“Geoff’s leadership of our winter sports high performance program, which has now produced many world and Olympic champions is recognised globally.
“He has a great passion to help our athletes will build a strong team around him for Beijing 2022.”
Australia has won 15 medals at Winter Olympic Games – five gold, five silver and five bronze -starting with a bonze in Lillehammer in 1994. Most recently, Australians picked up two silver and a bronze in PyeongChang in 2018 – all three medals picked up by first-time medallists.