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Cycling legend Meares to lead Australian Olympic team in Paris

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CANBERRA, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — Cycling great Anna Meares has been appointed to lead Australia’s Olympic team at Paris 2024.

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) on Sunday evening named Meares, 39, the Chef de Mission for the summer Olympics, replacing seven-time Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman who was in April elected President of the AOC.

Meares won six medals in track cycling at four Olympic Games, making her among the most successful Australians in the sport.

She is the only Australian in history to win individual medals at four consecutive Olympics and was Australia’s flag bearer at Rio 2016.

In a statement, Meares said being chosen to lead the team to Paris was an enormous privilege, declaring she will prioritize fostering a positive team environment.

“My priority now is to build strong relationships with our sports leaders and our athlete leaders. There’s already been a lot of work done in that area through the AOC. I look forward to spending time catching up with athletes and get their thoughts first-hand,” she said.

“Every Olympic Games produces its challenges but there’s a very experienced team behind the team and our job is to create a positive environment so our athletes can excel.”

Australian athletes won 46 medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, including 17 golds, compared to 29 medals at Rio 2016 and 35 at London 2012.

Meares helped Australia seize one of the eight gold medals in 2012, famously winning the individual sprint four years after breaking her neck in a horror crash.

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