As you might have noticed by now, Australia ranks in the top five countries during almost every Olympics, bringing home a few gold, silver, and bronze medals every time. The country has also won numerous rugby league world championships, not to mention its undeniable cricket domination at a global level. Let us not forget that this is in spite of its small population of fewer than 26 million people, according to 2020 data.
The people Down Under love sports so much that they invented their own. We are, of course, talking about Australian Rules Football, a mix of Gaelic football that is played on a cricket field using rugby balls while geared up in basketball equipment. Australians love to practice the sport at a domestic level when the rest of the world is taking a break in between two seasons.
Is their performance determined by special genetics? The tropical climate? A greater interest in a healthy lifestyle? What is it that makes Aussies so much better at sports compared to other nations around the globe? Let's find out together!
Aussies Use Sport to Identify Themselves as a Nation
The country has been using sports to identify itself as a nation for more than two centuries. Sport arrived in Australia in 1810, when the first tourney for athletes was organised, soon followed by cricket, horse races, and sailing events. The lower classes used to partake in sports events during public holidays, while the upper classes enjoyed more privileges, as they were allowed to play on Saturdays. The colony had the city of Sydney as the ultimate hub of sports, with the simplest forms of football starting being played here in 1829.
Sports is not only used by the people in the land Down Under as a way of expressing themselves, but it is also a powerful cultural aspect of the Australian lifestyle. According to some historians, sports have gained so much ground in the country due to the generous open space here, as well as the excellent climate that is fully compatible with outdoor activities.
Aussies Take Great Pride in their National Team
Another reason why sports is so popular is the fact that Aussies are extremely proud when it comes to their success worldwide, recognised through medals and honorific rankings during important competitions. This keeps pushing them to continuously grow and prove their worth. However, things were not always as peachy for Australians and their international rankings. In fact, there was a time when they were struggling, forcing solutions to be sought and used.
One important turning point in the country's sports history refers to athletes coming back from Montreal in 1976, carrying a single Silver medal and four Bronze medals. Both the public and the mass media expressed their disapproval and backlash against the national team, making it clear that a change was long overdue. Top administrators in the sports industry quickly understood a series of reviews and actions were needed in order for the country to keep being a highly competitive team at an international level. Australia mostly relied on its well-developed amateur sports system that was fuelled by the hard efforts of volunteers in order to produce elite athletes. At the same time, other countries either relied on drugs or pro sports systems to generate similar results.
Sports Science and Australian Athletes
Sports science is an important discipline that focuses on the way the human body reacts during workouts, as well as on the effects of sports on the overall health and performance of a person. Australia started including sports science in the preparation of athletes when the Australian Institute of Sport was created in 1981, on the 26th of January, on Australia Day. This was also the time when Aussies understood the importance of using a fresh philosophy directed towards the modernisation of sports with the help of science and research. The Institute was an essential cultural emblem that helped the people Down Under establish their goals and directions in terms of sport. Soon, several state sports institutes were created and scientists started bringing their own input and research to the ultimate goal of creating better-performing athletes. In fact, scientists were so involved that they started competing amongst themselves in an attempt to be the best at beefing up the country's performance in sports.
Federal Funding for Sports
Australian sports also continuously receive a lot of federal funding each year, with up to 80% of federal money aimed at supporting elite sports. Plenty of state money is also injected into sports here, with clear policies that aim at those sports where athletes are expected to win a bigger number of medals. Talent is also constantly searched for in order to build greater success, but the country does not simply pay scouts to do it but prefers to turn to science to identify runners, swimmers, and rugby players that will bring home future medals.
Australian sports scientists manage to identify genetic markers in young sports players with the purpose of steering talent to those paths where it would be most useful.in the upcoming decades, we can expect genetic codes in babies who are not born yet to be altered so it can generate gymnasts, cyclists, and particular types of sportsmen. It's all a matter of being and becoming more competitive against one another since we do not have to compete with animals anymore.
Until we will see genetically engineered athletes competing on the field, we are left enjoying hundreds of sports competitions and events held in Australia and other parts of the world right now. We can even wager on sports for real money online and our platform, CasinosHub, is one excellent place to start.