Olympic bronze medal archer Alec Potts believes Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller was the ideal person to lead the Australians at the Rio Games amid criticism of the team’s performance.
The 20 year-old says arrows thrown in her direction by the media were unwarranted while also defending his fellow team members following Australia’s tenth place finish on the medal tally.
“She has a job to keep everyone safe and motivated, and she did her job,” he said. “I can’t fault her; she was the perfect person to lead the team.”
“It’s unreasonable to say it’s a disappointing games,
“When you look at us per capita and per funding that actually goes into each sport, we actually did really well.”
Potts also potted the media’s initial reaction to the accreditation scandal as “disappointing” and believes the heat placed on those caught up was unnecessary.
“The AOC came out the next day and claimed responsibility, the athletes involved should not have copped the blame.”
Opening up on the atmosphere of the Olympic Village, the boy from the small Mornington Peninsula town of Mt Eliza described it as “crazy”.
“Walking with the Australian athletes and pointing out ‘there’s Usain Bolt walking to the dining hall’, it was surreal,
“Having to queue for half an hour to get Maccas was kind of annoying though.”
The success of Potts and teammates Ryan Tyack and Taylor Worth took many by surprise, having been ranked 19th in the world heading into the games.
“I was not expecting it,” Potts said, “It shows Australia is back on the rise, reinstating ourselves as a powerhouse nation in archery again.”
”The medal is affirmation of all the work we’ve put in as a team and individually.”
Australia’s last period of archery success was the turn of the century, when Simon Fairweather won gold on home soil and Tim Cuddhiy placed third in Athens. Potts believes things are only going to get better, and was philosophical when asked about his individual defeat in the first round.
“I can on my day really mix it with the best,” he says. “There’s nothing looking back at that match that I would’ve done differently.
“I just didn’t hit the middle well enough to put it simply, but it was an experience.”
The man who beat him was Brazilian Bernado Oliveira, but Potts wasn’t intimidated coming up against someone with the majority of support in the stadium.
“I wouldn’t say it was daunting, aside from being booed when I went on, the Brazilian crowd was relatively respectful.”
Since winning Australia’s first medal of the games, the Victorian says his life has completely changed.
“It didn’t sink in until I hit the tarmac, it’s certainly opened up a whole lot more opportunities for me.
“Having people yell out well done from cars and having people give me their business cards is certainly different.”
Potts has an eye on the future but also wants to shoot for fun in the meantime.
“I’ve been looking forward to 2024 or 2028 and thinking yeah I want to compete at those games too,”
“For the next two years though I won’t be training full time, it will be shooting for the sake of shooting.”