Australia has always batted well above its average when it comes to International sport. But we have been held back from the leaderboard in winter sports events, due to the difficulties our winter athletes face, like our distance from Europe, limited snow cover and the expense of training overseas at winter Olympic venues.
But there’s an innovative new idea being floated by Aussie-Goal!™ (the organisation that advocates for improvements in rules and conditions for Australian athletes and sporting bodies)… they want Australia to partner with Ukraine to develop a home-away-from-home for Aussie winter sports.
On average, Ukraine has 80 days more snowfall per year than Australia*. Surprisingly though, at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, Australia finished ahead of Ukraine in the medal tally! This is because Ukraine does not have state-of-the-art training facilities behind its sports like we do in Australia.
Ukraine has been an independent country for over 25 years, and is the second biggest country in Europe after Russia. The current Russian invasion in Crimea and military movement in the Donbass region have slowed Ukraine’s ambitions of living a progressive, peaceful and more Western lifestyle. The Ukraine Government and its youthful voters are looking to foster a successful and healthy generation of Ukrainians and to be seen as global citizens; not just Russia’s neighbour.
70% of Australia is classified as arid or semi-arid, which means it gets less than 500 mm of rain a year. With so little rainfall, cold weather and snow, you would assume Australia has little chance of ever hosting a winter Olympic Games – therefore building winter facilities in Australia would be a waste of funding. But according to Daniel Biryukoff, Founder of Aussie-Goal!™ sports organisation, Australia can (and should) co-host a Winter Olympic Games… just not actually IN Australia, but in his home country; Ukraine.
Biryukoff explains that “Similar to the way neighbouring countries often co-host football world cup matches, Ukraine could co-host an Australian Winter Olympic Games. Ukraine has the land – Australia has the finance! Imagine Australia had an ice hockey team that could train as often as the Scandinavians? I believe we would be very successful!”
When asked what the grand plans are for the Australia-Ukrainian sports epicentre, Biryukoff explains “The mountainous Karpatyi region (West Ukraine) has the perfect conditions to build a Winter competition venue for junior, professional and senior athletes to train and compete. There’s an airport and space to build state-of-the-art, modern and sustainable living and training facilities. If we had training and equipment storage facilities for winter sports, Aussie teams could base themselves there and save money flying to various venues around Western Europe (where accommodation, currency and living costs are higher). And they would have their Aussie team mates (both Summer and Winter) around them while they acclimatise for events during their pre-season.”
And the partnership benefits don’t stop at sport. Ukraine is known to have the richest soil in Europe, and has a growing international business industry – which opens up the potential for mutually-beneficial sponsor promotions and sports broadcasting.
Aussie-Goal!™ believes that an Aussie Winter Sports base in Ukraine is a logical, economical, and political solution that has far reaching benefits for Australia and Ukraine, their athletes and their people. Aussie-Goal!™ would like the Australian Government and Australian Winter sports organisations to consider this proposition to build economical, political, and friendship in Eastern Europe with Ukraine, and resolve all issues for good.
That’s our Goal, our Aussie- Goal!™