With the Paris Olympics fast approaching, it probably won’t surprise you that our extended cover story for this edition of Lion is Wesley at the Olympics.

The world map in our Olympics feature graphically highlights our extraordinarily rich history of OWs competing at the Olympics Games, beginning with the 1908 London Games when Sir Frank Beaurepaire (OW1909) participated in the swimming competition.

To date, we have Jemima Montag (OW2016) and Sophie O’Sullivan (OW2019) competing next month at Paris 2024. Very possibly there will be several others, having already qualified for their events but now anxiously awaiting official selection. Jemima and Sophie outline their preparations for Paris, and we hear from other past Olympians - athletes and coaches – who share with us what it was like realising a dream and participating in the biggest and most celebrated sports event in the world.

In this edition, we also celebrate the growing success of Learning in Residence (LiR), our boarding program at the Glen Waverley Campus. Since opening its doors back in 2016, LiR has become a vital, vibrant part of our school, and today we’re close to full capacity. In our feature, we talk to staff and students to find out why.

Our Olympics feature also covers last month’s wonderful Founders’ Day Lunch which featured a panel of OW Olympians. The reflections they shared gave a fascinating insight into the demands of sport at the elite level. We can be blessed with all the natural talent in the world, but without the resolve and resilience required to test yourself physically and mentally across years of training, sporting success at that level is unlikely. That’s not to say natural assets aren’t handy to have, of course. Our Head Coach of Swimming, Janine Bates, recalls coaching our most celebrated OW Olympian, Michael Klim OAM (OW1994), in Water Polo at Wesley in the early 90s. ‘Sometimes he would play goalkeeper, and the wide wingspan of his arms made it difficult for the opposition to get goals past him!’ she wryly notes.

We wish our current OW Olympians all the very best for their final preparations and performance at Paris 2024. The whole Wesley community is behind you!

Paul Munn, Lion Editor and Features Writer

Read the magazine