Supporting our 2012 Olympians Fri 22 June 2012 Lara Giddings Premier The Premier, Lara Giddings MP, tonight announced funding to support Tasmanian athletes and officials taking part in the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. Speaking at the Premier's Olympic Farewell Fundraising Dinner, Ms Giddings announced $120,000 to assist with the cost of participating at the Games. "The Tasmanian Government recognises the financial challenges faced by our Olympic and Paralympic athletes and officials in attending the London Games," Ms Giddings said. "There are already a record 17 Tasmanian athletes going to the London Games with potentially more to be selected. "That includes 14 Olympians and 3 Paralympians who will be heading to London, along with 11 Tasmanian officials." Ms Giddings said athletes could access up to $5000, with funding also available to officials whose income is affected by their London 2012 commitments. "This commitment reflects the crucial role our elite athletes play in the wider community, inspiring us with their dedication, preparation and teamwork. Ms Giddings said Tasmania had a proud history of participating at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with 73 athletes taking part since 1912. "I congratulate each and every one of our athletes and officials on their selection, and on behalf of all of Tasmania, wish them all the best for London," Ms Giddings said. "There are so many inspiring stories to emerge from the selections, including Luke Jackson being named captain of the Australian Olympic boxing team, the return of rower Dana Faletic after a six-year break from the sport and the debut of 19 year old cyclist Amy Cure. "Selection for the Olympic and Paralympic Games is the result of a team effort and we also recognise the crucial role our coaches and support staff play in the success our athletes experience." Ms Giddings also paid tribute to the work of the Tasmanian Institute of Sport (TIS) in preparing Tasmania's athletes for the London Games. "I applaud everyone at the TIS for another stellar performance, giving our athletes every chance to make it to London. "It is no coincidence that since the inception of the TIS in 1985 Tasmanian athlete participation in the Olympics has steadily increased, with 43 TIS supported athletes having competed at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. "The TIS plays an invaluable part in allowing our elite sports men and women to realise their potential for themselves and for Tasmania."