Golden star arrives in Boyne



THE stars, sun and moon all came together the day the Australian women's water polo team won the first Olympic gold medal ever awarded for their sport. Or that is what Melissa Byram believes anyway. Mrs Byram, then Melissa Mills, was a member of the team that took home the gold at the Sydney Olympics, the year the sport was finally included after heavy lobbying by the Australian, Dutch and Canadian teams. Mrs Byram retired from the sport in 2003 and recently moved to Boyne Island from Brisbane with her family for a "change of pace". The Boyne-Tannum area must have a large Olympic medal magnet hidden somewhere because last week The Observer reported that former Olympic swimmer and silver medallist Angela Kennedy (now Angela Woodward) had been posted to the Boyne-Tannum Police Station. After hearing Mrs Byram was in town, we tracked her down too. "For it (women's water polo) to be included during my era, in the Australian games and for us to win ? we were extremely lucky," Mrs Byram said. "Normally when you play overseas not many friends and family can come and watch, so to play in Sydney was wonderful." The night her team beat the Americans with a controversial goal in the final second, the crowd at Homebush Stadium was the biggest it had been for the entire games and Mrs Byram remembers they were singing 'Waltzing Matilda'. "I don't think it sunk in for quite some time (that we had won)," she said. "It was a shock, and then it was all such a blur." Mrs Byram is now focusing on her family and enjoying not having a hectic training schedule.



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