Rennae Stubbs, Wayne Arthurs, Sam Groth and John Millman receive their OLY honourary title
A star-studded line up of Australian Olympians has been honoured with OLY post-nominal titles at a special ceremony held at this year’s Brisbane International Tournament.
Local legends of the game included Wayne Arthurs (Athens 2004), Sam Groth (Rio 2016), Rennae Stubbs (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008) and rising star John Millman (Rio 2016). Due to match schedules Daria Gavrilova (Rio 2016) and John Peers (Rio 2016) were unable to attend the presentation but will receive their award at a later date.
The Olympians were presented with their OLY certificate and exclusive OLY pin by Olympian Paul Gonzalez OLY, Acting President of the Queensland Olympic Council, which organised the presentation, and 5-time Olympic Medallist Cate Campbell OLY (Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016).
The ceremony took place ahead of the start of play on day two of the tournament, which acts as a precursor to the prestigious Australian Open Grand Slam. 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.
World Olympians Association 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. Other high-profile Olympians to take up the honour include Allyson Felix (Athletics, USA), Lord Sebastian Coe (Athletics, GBR), Sir Mo Farah (Athletics, GBR), Dame Kelly Holmes (Athletics, GBR), Tony Estanguet (Canoe Slalom, FRA), Natalie Cook (Volleyball, AUS), Ashton Eaton (Athletics, USA), Dawn Fraser MBE (Swimming, AUS), Ato Bolden (Athletics, TTO).
WOA President, Joël Bouzou OLY, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to honour Olympians in Brisbane today. 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. OLY celebrates this commitment to embodying the values of Olympism in everyday life.”
Australian tennis Olympian John Millman OLY said: “When I got called up to be a representative of Australia at the Olympics, it was one of the proudest moments of my career.
“I grew up watching the Olympics and I think anyone who loves sport has dreams and aspirations of representing their country there. As tennis players, throughout the year we compete as individuals but to come together once every four years for the Olympics made it pretty special to me. To be able to play for Australia was a humbling moment.”
Australian tennis Olympian Sam Groth OLY added: “As a tennis player we have a lot of big events but being an Olympian is something that is a lot bigger than our sport. Being a part of the Australia Olympic team in Rio, you saw the dedication that so many athletes had put in over their whole lives to possibly run in just one 10 second race and it’s not something we really experience in tennis, but to be able to represent Australia at the Olympics is something very special.”