Lutheran schools cohort shows Olympic class
Former and current Lutheran school students shone at the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan, winning at least nine gold, three silver and seven bronze medals for Australia across five sports.
In addition, two old scholars of St Peters Lutheran College Queensland – Taekwondo player Pita Taufatofua (Tonga) and freestyle swimmer Eve Thomas (New Zealand), who won her 800m freestyle heat – represented other nations in Tokyo.
St Peters had six Olympic athletes among its student and alumni ranks, with current Year 12 Springfield campus student, swimmer Mollie O’Callaghan winning two gold and one bronze medal, while 2018 Indooroopilly campus student Ariane Titmus was another leading contributor to the Australian swim team’s medal haul with two gold, one silver and one bronze. Fellow St Peters old scholars and swimmers Madison Wilson (one gold and one bronze) and Abbey Harkin (200m breaststroke) also competed at the games.
In total at least 10 Lutheran Education Queensland (LEQ) school alumni represented Australia at Tokyo 2020 and won a total of eight gold, two silver, and five bronze medals which LEQ Executive Director Dennis Mulherin points out would have placed LEQ 11th on the medal tally if it were a country, ahead of the likes of Canada, Brazil, New Zealand and Cuba.
Kaylee McKeown (Old scholar Pacific Lutheran College, Meridan Plains 2018 and St Paul’s Lutheran Primary School, Caboolture 2012) was another of the Aussie swim team’s stars, winning three golds and one bronze, while Taliqua Clancy (Old scholar St John’s Lutheran School, Kingaroy 2004) won silver in beach volleyball and Melissa Wu (Trinity Lutheran College 2004) won a bronze medal in diving.
Other LEQ Games participants included Katie Haywood (St Andrews Lutheran College, Tallebudgera 2017), who finished Top 40 in the 20km walk, Rosie Malone (Trinity Lutheran College, Ashmore 2015), who was a quarter-finalist in hockey and Alyce Wood (Immanuel Lutheran College, Buderim 2009), who came fifth and eighth in the pair and individual canoe sprint.
Another gold medallist was former Nhill Lutheran School student Lucy Stephan, from Victoria, who was part of the victorious Australian women’s coxless fours rowing crew in the 2000m event.
Swimmer Kyle Chalmers, who was a student at Immanuel College Novar Gardens in South Australia when he won gold in the 100m freestyle at the Rio Olympics in 2016, in Tokyo won a silver medal in the same event, as well as two relay bronze medals.
Cyclist Rohan Dennis, a former student of Endeavour College Mawson Lakes in South Australia won a bronze medal in the time trial at the Olympics, while fellow cyclist, Cornerstone College Mount Barker old scholar Alex Manly was part of Australia’s quartet in the Olympic Women’s Team Pursuit, which finished fifth.
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