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Steven Bradbury

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games, Non-starter
SexMale
Full nameSteven John•Bradbury
Used nameSteven•Bradbury
Born14 October 1973 in Camden, New South Wales (AUS)
Measurements178 cm / 80 kg
AffiliationsRoos Speed Skating Club, Brisbane (AUS)
NOC Australia

Biography

Steven Bradbury was just seventeen years old when he was a member of Australia’s World Championship winning short-track relay team in Sydney in 1991 which was the first world title won by Australia in a major winter sport. He was part of the relay squad for the 1992 Games but did not skate in the semi-final as the Aussies crashed out of the event. Considered a medal contender in the individual events at Lillehammer he was hampered by crashing rivals in both events and did not reach a final although he was part of the Australian relay team that skated to their nation’s first ever Winter Games medal. Their Olympic bronze was matched at that year’s World Championships.

In 1995 Bradbury was involved in an accident at a meeting in Montreal where his thigh was slashed by another skater’s blade. He lost a large amount of blood as the blade sliced his quadricep muscles and required over a hundred stitches to the leg. Having recovered from the injury he regained his form and entered the 1998 Olympic Games with medal ambitions but failed to make it out of the heats. He broke two vertebra in his neck in a training accident in late 2000 and missed the 2000-01 season but returned the next season with the intention of competing at one last Winter Games.

The events of Salt Lake City are the stuff of Australian legend. Bradbury, by then considered in the twilight of his career, qualified simply enough from his heat but finished third in the quarter-final and would have been eliminated if Marc Gagnon of Canada had not been disqualified. In his semi-final he was in a poor position and due for elimination but a collision between skaters from Korea and Japan gave him the opportunity to win the race. What had taken place in the heats, unlikely as it was, paled in comparison with the final. In a five man final Bradbury was tailed off in last position throughout the race as the other four battled for the title. As they approached the last turn Li Jiajun and Apolo Anton Ohno clashed and in the resulting melee all four men found themselves sliding out of control towards the barriers. By the time Bradbury arrived the path was clear and he crossed the line to win the gold medal before anybody else could react. Bradbury also competed in three other events in Salt Lake City and reached the B final in the 1500m.

He retired after the Games and began a career as a motivational speaker and worked for Australian television as a commentator for the 2006 Winter Olympics. Bradbury published his autobiography aptly titled “Last Man Standing” in 2005 and since his success the phrase “Doing a Bradbury” has entered Australian vocabulary as the epitome of an unlikely success against all odds.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1992 Winter Olympics Short Track Speed Skating (Skating) AUS Steven Bradbury
5,000 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Australia DNS
1994 Winter Olympics Short Track Speed Skating (Skating) AUS Steven Bradbury
500 metres, Men (Olympic) 8
1,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 24
5,000 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Australia 3 Bronze
1998 Winter Olympics Short Track Speed Skating (Skating) AUS Steven Bradbury
500 metres, Men (Olympic) 19
1,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 21
5,000 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Australia 8
2002 Winter Olympics Short Track Speed Skating (Skating) AUS Steven Bradbury
500 metres, Men (Olympic) 14
1,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 10
5,000 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Australia 6

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
2002 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony AUS Steven Bradbury

Special Notes