On Monday, the Australian Paralympic Committee announced their final team list for the Rio Games. The team had nine last minute additions as a result of replacement slots being given to the country as a result of the suspension of Russia from the Games. These extra spots bring the final team size up to 178 sportspeople representing Australia in Rio.
The nine additional members of the Australian delegation include goalball players Meica Horsburgh, Nicole Esdaile, Michelle Rzepecki, Tyan Taylor, Jennifer Blow and Raissa Martin, wheelchair tennis player Sarah Calati, and track and field competitors Jesse Wyatt and Tamsin Colley. Martin will be making her Paralympic début in Rio, the only member of the Australian women’s goalball team to be doing so; the rest of the team was together for the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London. Horsburgh competed in London using her maiden name, Meica Chistensen. Calati joins three other Australian wheelchair tennis players already on the team. She gives them more gender diversity as the only woman representing Australia in wheelchair tennis. Colley changes who was the youngest person to represent Australia in Rio to now claim that spot. Walking into the stadium for the Open Ceremonies, Colley will be 13 years and 362 days old.
With a final team size of 178 athletes, the 17 sportspeople larger than the delegation sent the London Games. Those Games saw Australia come away with 32 golds, 23 silvers and 30 bronze medals. 17 of those 32 gold medals were shared by three swimmers: Jacqueline Freney, Ellie Cole and Matthew Cowdrey, with Freney alone accounting for 8 of them. Only Cole will be back in Rio to defend her titles.