~~Tugga~~ Waugh to inspire Aussies in Beijing Oly

Published: Thursday, February 15, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Former Australia cricket captain Steve Waugh is to have a formal role helping his country's athletes at next year's Beijing Olympics.

Waugh will join former Australia rugby union captain John Eales and swimming gold medallist Susie O'Neill as athlete liaison officers in Beijing.

"Steve is a champion athlete and an inspirational leader and he will be a great asset to the team in Beijing," Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates told reporters on Thursday.

"Between them, John Eales, Susie O'Neill and Steve have a mountain of experience at the elite level and they will support and motivate our team."

Eales, who lifted the rugby World Cup for Australia in 1999, worked at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Waugh, the most-capped Test player (168) in the history of the game, was a member of the 1987 World Cup winning side who also captained Australia to triumph again in 1999.

"John Eales established an amazing rapport with the athletes in Athens, he was in demand, and I am sure Steve and Susie will have the same positive effect in Beijing," Coates said.

"At this point we estimate our team will number 507 athletes, many of them first-time Olympians, who will no doubt be nervous and will benefit greatly from the encouragement."


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