The Australian Women’s Sevens team have made history at Rio, defeating New Zealand to become the first ever team to win a women’s rugby gold medal.
Just a couple of months ago they became the first Aussie team – men’s or women’s – to win a world championship in the sport.
Right before heading to Rio, unflappable Player of the Year nominee Charlotte Caslick wrote for Mamamia about how she reached the top of the world with her sevens sisters and why her boyfriend’s now in the doghouse.
Here’s what she had to say on winning with her best friends by her side.
If you’re wondering what it feels to win a World Championship, I can tell you: it feels really good. Awesome, actually. And the fact I’ve done it with my best friends makes it even better.
We’re a very laid back group of girls so even going into the World Series tournament we were pretty chilled about competing for a World Championship win. Even at the airport in Sydney before we flew to France, we were joking with our coach saying “it’s not a big deal, who cares what happens”. It meant he was the most stressed of all of us!
Of course, we all wanted to win, but our self-belief helps us manage the pressure and any doubts we have. Because we’re so confident in each other, it’s easier to be confident in ourselves.
The Australian Women’s Sevens team have made history at Rio. Source: Getty
These are come of the other female Aussie Olympians we've been keeping an eye on (post continues after gallery):
We keep each other balanced too. When we were in France, my team mates Nicole (Beck) and Vani organised an ‘Amazing Race’ for us. We were given maps, split into teams and then had to find our way around Clermont-Ferrand’s landmarks. We all ended up at a restaurant together where we got to try a few escargots in garlic butter and enjoy a glass of red wine. It’s easy to stay relaxed when you’re travelling the world, doing what you love, and still having fun.
Having said that, the vibe before we played the match against Spain to win the World Series was intense. It was intense in a good way, but you could feel it when we warmed up and were waiting in the change rooms.
We always have to share change rooms with other teams, so we put up the Aussie flag, the Aboriginal flag and the boxing kangaroo flag to make it feel like our home. Before we ran out against onto the field, you could sense something special. Everyone was louder than usual, we sang heaps of songs, we were laughing, we were happy. Looking back, it was a good sign.
The match ended when I scored after the final whistle. I was so tired I kind of forgot we’d won. I was just trying to catch my breath. It didn’t really hit me until the girls from the bench ran onto the field and then I remembered – ok, we’re World Champions now, that’s different!
The awards you win as a team are so much better than the awards you win by yourself. The fact we all get to train together full-time, makes us so much us so much better. I can’t do what I do without the other girls.
People might think that with twenty girls in a squad it could get crazy, but we all have the same supportive attitude and our coach reinforces that. Some days you might score ten tries, and on other days you might not score any. It all comes down to opportunities.
And is my boyfriend (Australian Men’s Sevens player Lewis Holland) impressed with our World Championship win? Well, he’s very proud of not just me, but of all the girls. He’s seen how far we’ve all come.
And yes, he’s very supportive, but I do think he could have put up an Instagram post congratulating us on the win. I mean, we are world champions now – I think we deserve a post!
Want to see how more female athletes feel about playing sport professionally? Here is Olympic hockey player Anna Flanagan on why she loves sport:
Feature image: Twitter