Olympians honoured at 2018 Brisbane International
1 January 2019
TENNIS: Australian Olympian tennis players have been honoured by the World Olympians Association (WOA) with OLY post-nominal titles at a special ceremony held at the Brisbane International Tournament.
Australian Olympians John Millman, Sam Groth, Renee Stubbs and Wayne Arthurs were presented with the titles in front of a home crowd at the Pat Rafter Arena.
Millman and Groth, who made their Olympic debut at Rio 2016, celebrated the team experience of representing Australia in a normally individual sport.
“Being called up to represent Australia at the Olympics was the proudest moment of my career,” Millman said. “Being able to share it with teammates like Sam Groth was special.
“We grew up watching the Olympics, anyone who loves sports and aspires to represent their country, it’s such a special moment. Throughout the year we play as individuals, but to come together every four years as Team Australia is a humbling moment.”
Groth highlighted the value in sharing the Olympic experience with teammates across multiple sports competing at the highest level.
“As a tennis player we have a lot of big events but the Olympics is bigger than our sport,” Groth said.
“Being a part of the Australian Olympic Team in Rio and being able to see firsthand the dedication so many athletes have put in their whole life to get there – we have Grand Slams four times a year but to represent your country at the Olympics is so special. The Olympics holds a special part in Australian hearts.”
The Olympians were presented with their OLY certificate and exclusive OLY pin by Olympian Paul Gonzalez OLY, Acting President of the Queensland Olympic Council and Cate Campbell, Olympic swimmer.
Gonzalez, a two-time Olympic baseballer and silver medallist at Athens 2004 was delighted to help recognise the ongoing contribution of the Olympic tennis players.
“OLY is an honorary title bestowed upon Olympians, recognising the hard work, dedication and perseverance it takes to compete on sport’s greatest stage,” Gonzalez said. “It recognises that once an Olympian, always an Olympian.”
The tennis stars can now use OLY after their name on official documentation, in much the same way as a PhD, other post-nominal designations and honorary titles.
WOA launched the OLY post-nominal letters initiative in November 2017. Since that time more than 10,000 Olympians worldwide have been granted the honour, which serves as a constant public reminder and recognition of an Olympian’s achievements in the field of sport, as well as a symbolic recognition of their status in society and their commitment to furthering the Olympic ideals.
The OLY title is available to any athlete that has competed at an Olympic Summer or Winter Games.
Joël Bouzou OLY, WOA President said the OLY celebrates Olympians’ commitment to embodying the values of Olympism in everyday life.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to honour such truly great Olympians in Brisbane today,” Bouzou said. “Alongside their exceptional achievements on the court, it is pleasing to see so many of the players dedicating their time, energy and passion to causes outside of tennis, using their status and the unifying power of sport to drive change and create a better world.”