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Australia fly in coffee expert to power them to Beijing gold

BEIJING (AFP) – Australian athletes at the Winter Olympics have a “performance-enhancing stimulant” to power them to gold – flying their own barista into the COVID-secure Beijing bubble.

The coffee-loving Australians did the same thing at the Tokyo Games last summer and it was such a hit they have replicated it in the Chinese capital.

“The purpose of the barista was it’s a tried and true assistance for high performance,” the Australian chef de mission Geoff Lipshut said on Wednesday, two days ahead of the opening ceremony for the Beijing Games.

“We had the barista in Tokyo, where the team did incredibly well. It seemed like a no-brainer. “Given our winter athletes travel so long away from Australia, we can bring a little touch of home and have that available.”

Phil Bellingham, who is going in the cross-country skiing, hopes the caffeine shot from a Queensland barista brewing Australian coffee will propel him up the rankings.

“Coffee is a performance-enhancing stimulant so it’s great to have that winning edge on our side,” the 30-year-old said with a laugh.

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