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Address at welcome home ceremony for Australian Olympic Team, Sydney.



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LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION THE HON. DR BRENDAN NELSON MP

26 August 2008

TRANSCRIPT OF THE HON. DR BRENDAN NELSON MP ADDRESS AT WELCOME HOME CEREMONY FOR AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC TEAM SYDNEY

EO&E………………………………………………………………………………......

Thanks very much, Beretts. Prime Minister, Premier, John Coates, John Borghetti, distinguished guests. Most importantly, you, the Olympians of Australia, welcome back to our country. You did us proud. You make us proud to be Australians. And sixth in the overall medal tally but first in the inspiration of a nation.

Right across this country over the last few weeks every one of us in every part of the nation has been inspired by what all of you have done. Anna Meares showed us that it’s not what happens to you in life that determines where you get, but how you deal with it. Stephanie Rice, three world records and three gold medals. All of the things that were done by James Tomkins over successive Olympics. My wife said to tell you she loves you.

As the Prime Minister said, however, in the end all of you have achieved what you have done - in getting there, in being there - because of coaches, families, friends and sacrifices that have been made over a lifetime for you to achieve what you have done for all of us. If Qantas is the spirit that brings us home, you are the spirit that makes this home.

What you have done in sacrifice, in discipline, in focus, in sportsmanship, in teamwork, in your support of one another, reminds us of what it means to be an Australian. You have lifted our nation to great heights. We are very, very proud of everything that you have done for us and our nation. And your greatest achievement, apart from being there, is inspiring us to push every one of ourselves to the ultimate limits in our everyday lives. Enjoy your welcome home. You deserve it and you deserve much, much more.

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And as the Prime Minister said, all of those sacrifices, financial sacrifices, sacrificing time, love and support of families; without them we know that you wouldn’t have achieved what you have done for our country. We are immensely proud of all of you.

Thank you.

[ends]

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