Olympic Great Phil Coles Passes Away

Chisom Ndianefo
Close-up shot of Phil Coles
Getty | Getty Images

Phil Coles, who was instrumental in bringing an Australian team to the 1980 Moscow Olympics in spite of a U.S.-led boycott and later assisted in securing the 2000 Sydney Olympics, has passed away in his hometown, Sydney.

Keep reading to find out more.

Coles' Help In 1993 Got Them Through Victory

Unsplash | Dave Kim

The 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, which are regarded as one of the best Games ever, were made possible in large part thanks to his crucial involvement in the city's 1993 victory over other candidates.

Coles Would Always Be Remembered

Coles will also be recognized as one of the 24 International Olympic Committee members (IOC) involved in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics bid-rigging controversy.

The Scandal

Giphy | Prince

Although, he received an official reprimand for accepting Salt Lake City officials' "lavish hospitality" in exchange for intelligence, and as a result, he was removed from the Sydney Games organizing committee.

Clearing His Reputation

He accepted that the scandal had permanently damaged his reputation. Coles subsequently added, "I would still dearly like to have my name cleared."

He continued, "I have all the proof, but I'm going to let it go. Although I have a ton of evidence, reopening the case would require me to stir up a big hornet's nest, and I don't want to harm the Olympic movement."

Coles Transitioned The Sport

Australia flag
Flickr | ♔ Georgie R

Coles transitioned into sports administration after competing in the Olympics for Australia as a canoeist in 1960, 1964, and 1968.

His Impact On The Game

As retribution for the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan in 1980, the federal government under Malcolm Fraser pressured the Australian Olympic Federation to advocate a boycott of the Moscow Games.

Coles Was Strong-Willed

Phil Coles cheering his team on in the 2000 Olympics
Daily mail | Phil/ Dailymail

Coles was one of many who maintained their resolve, guaranteeing that Australia would keep its illustrious tradition of participating in every Summer Olympics.

Hall Of Fame

Coles participated in the IOC from 1982 to 2011. He became a founding member of the Oceania National Olympic Committees board in 1973 and joined the AOC executive board (ONOC).

In the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1983, he was named a Member of the Order of Australia for "sport service." In 1993, he was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

Tributes Pour In For Phil Coles

However, following his passing, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC)

President Ian Hanson and others have paid tribute to the 91-year-old Olympic star. IOC president Thomas Bach described him as one who cared about the welfare of athletes.