25/07/2021   Dane Bird-Smith quits the Olympic Games due to family problems



The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has announced the withdrawal of race-walker Dane Bird-Smith from the Australian Olympic Team due to family medical reasons.
The Rio bronze-medallist in the 20K Race Walk had joined teammates in Cairns but this afternoon announced he would not join them on the flight to Tokyo and will return to Brisbane.
Bird-Smith says he was absolutely determined after qualifying for Tokyo and felt physically primed, even after the challenges of the past year.
Unfortunately, there have been twists and turns over the last year that all Olympians have had to face. For me that includes family health challenges that have become a priority.
Couple these challenges with difficult travel restrictions around the Covid pandemic, I have made the decision to stay in Australia with my family and withdraw myself from the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo.
This is a tough decision as an athlete, but it is a decision that will see my desire to compete and win for Australia strongly continue next year and onwards. I will be watching on from home, cheering with my family and wish the rest of the Australian Team all the very best.
Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman says he fully appreciates the difficult decision Bird-Smith faced and fully supported the decision the race walker had taken.
We’re disappointed for Dane, but he has made the right decision. These are difficult circumstances for him and we wish Dane and his family all the very best. We would also request his privacy be respected"