Australian Institute of Sport

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A specialist institute for the study and promotion of elite sport performance, based in Australia's capital city, Canberra. It was formed in 1981, after a review of Australia's disappointing performance at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, where it won no gold medals, just one silver and four bronze. At the Los Angeles Olympics—albeit without the Soviet Union and other boycotting nations as opponents—Australians won four gold, eight silver, and twelve bronze medals. At Atlanta in 1996 Australia was seventh in the medal table, and on home territory at Sydney four years later—with sixteen gold, twenty-five silver, and seventeen bronze—it took fourth place in the table behind the USA, the Russian Federation, and China; this fourth place was secured again at the 2004 Athens Games. Much of this success has been attributed to the work of the AIS, and to associated policies for the development of better forms of support for sportswomen.

The AIS's stated aim has been to achieve ‘supremacy in sport’. The secret of the AIS's success has been selected ‘supremacy’, in targeting performance-sport development for Olympic sports and non-Olympic sports of national significance that also have an international focus (such as netball, at the Commonwealth Games). The Institute's staff covers the main sports science disciplines and all phases of the performance cycle from preparation to rehabilitation, and many scholarships are offered to athletes. It has been seen as a model for the organization of high-performance support schemes, features widely in sport development and policy study programmes across the world, and, as a part of the Australian Sports Commission, is recognized as a pioneering and influential state-sponsored organization.

http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais The official site of the Institute, including valuable guidance on nutrition for athletes.

Subjects: Sport and Leisure.

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