Australian Olympic Committee

Partnership history

Qantas Olympics Flight 1948

Qantas has been closely involved with the Australian Olympic Team for more than 60 years & is proud to have been The Official Airline of the Australian Olympic Team for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Qantas has flown our Aussie team to every post war games, first flying them in 1948 to the London Olympics. The flight by Constellation took four days and required nine stops for fuel. Athletes were served some of earliest frozen food meals in Australia which were introduced post-war by Qantas after establishing its own frozen food processing facility in Rose Bay, Sydney.

The 1952 Helsinki Olympics saw famed Olympic runner Marjorie Jackson (now Marjorie Jackson-Nelson AO, MBE) take home Australia's first Olympic gold since 1896 when she won two gold medals in both the 100m & 200m finals.

Olympic Flame 1956

In tribute to Marjorie Jackson (known as 'The Lithgow Flash'), the Qantas Constellation returning her and 30 other team-mates from the 1952 Olympics to Sydney, made a special flypast over Lithgow in August which was watched by large crowds keen to welcome her home.

In 1956, Qantas engineers created a custom transport box to carry the Olympic Flame to Australia for the Melbourne Olympics. The custom box contained a built-in fire extinguisher and was held in place by a modified baby bassinet frame on board a Qantas Super Constellation aircraft.

2016 Rio Olympics

Qantas Olympic team partner

To support the team in Rio, we switched out our grey cotton long sleeve business class pyjamas for a patriotic green and gold set, featuring a gold kangaroo on the shirt front and hashtag #RoadToRio on the back. We also operated a special B747 charter flight home from Rio for our outstanding athletes and welcomed them home with a special event in Hanger 96, which was broadcast live by Channel 7s Sunrise.

The Australian Olympic Committee is committed to Australia's athletes and encourages the development of high performance sport through athlete support and funding initiatives. The role of the AOC also extends to spreading the Olympic spirit and ideals throughout the wider community, even in the years between Olympic Games.