Aussie shooter given huge Olympics honour

2 months ago 16
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By Brett Graham and Chris de Silva

Australian shooter Elena Galiabovitch has been chosen by the IOC to carry the Olympic flag at tonight's opening ceremony in Tokyo.

Along with being an incredible athlete, Galiabovitch is a doctor who has been heavily involved in the fight against COVID-19 in Australia over the past 18 months.

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The 31-year-old will be in action for Australia in both the shooting 10m Air Pistol and the 25m Pistol events and is at her second Olympics, having participated at Rio in 2016.

Elena Galiabovitch. (Getty)

There is a bit of romanticism in Galiabovitch's story and how she came to be involved in the sport.

She was born in Belarus and moved to Australia when she was four, where she decided to try shooting as it was how her parents initially met.

Galiabovitch is coached by her father Vladimir, who is also Australia's national pistol coach.

While preparing for her second Games, Galiabovitch has also been studying for a Masters degree to become a urological surgeon.

"My medical journey has taken a few turns in the last couple of years," she told the ABC earlier this year.

"I was accepted to start this year, but I've deferred for the Olympic Games, and I'll be starting next year in February."

Australian Olympic shooter Elena Galiabovitch has been heavily involved in the fight against COVID-19. (Instagram)

Along with night shifts in a Melbourne hospital dealing with COVID-19 patients, she has also helped out at drive-through testing clinics during the pandemic.

"I felt good I could at least do something at the time to help out," Galiabovitch told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"I didn't do an enormous amount of shifts because I wasn't working full-time at any of the public hospitals, but it is confronting to see someone dying from the lung disease COVID can cause."

The Melbourne-based Galiabovitch claimed her first international title in 2015 when she won the 25m Pistol event at the Oceania Championships.

While Galiabovitch was not able to claim a medal in Rio, she had much more success at the Commonwealth Games in 2018, where she claimed a silver in the 25m Pistol and a bronze in the 10m Air Pistol.

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