History of Roller Skating in Australia

Steven Bradbury was the first Australian to win an Olympic gold in Roller Skating in the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic in 2002. However, the history of the game in Australia can be traced back to the last phase of the nineteenth century. The first roller rink of the country, Adelaide Glaciarium, was opened in 1887 in Adelaide on the occasion of the 50 year anniversary of this city.

Professor John Charles Gerald Caldwell-an Australian settled in Britain and an outstanding speed skater introduced roller skating in Australia. If you go through the old newspapers of the last decade of the nineteenth century you will realize that roller skating in those days was restricted to a specific group of people and the Australians in general considered it a positive nuisance.

Falling in line with the majority, skating was, excluded from the tournament organised in the anniversary year of Adelaide initially but was included later on and ultimately turned out to be the star attraction of the tournament.

Olympic Experience

Figure skating made its debut in 1908 Summer Games and appeared later at the Antwerp 1920 Games. It became an official Olympic Winter Games sport in 1924 and has remained so ever since.

Australians competed in roller skating for the first time in Oslo Olympic 1952. Adrian Swan performed fairly well and was placed 10th in the men’s individual and the two ladies Nancy Hallam and Gweneth Molony finished 14th and 21st respectively.

The Australian pair Stephen Carr and Danielle McGrath Carr finished 11th at Lillehammer Winter Olympic in 1994.