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Six mogul skiers announced on Australian Winter Olympic Team

25 January 2018

MOGUL SKIING: Three Olympians and three debutants will make a six-strong Australian mogul skiing contingent at the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games *(see update at end of article)

Dual Olympian and 2017 World Champion Britt Cox will headline the Team in the women’s event, looking to improve upon her fifth-place finish from Sochi 2014.

The Victorian skier was the youngest member of the Australian Team when she finished 23rd on debut at Vancouver 2010 at the age of 15.

Now, with two Olympic Games, a World Championships gold medal and a Crystal Globe as the top ranked freestyle skier of 2017 under her belt, the 23-year-old is “looking forward to new experiences in Korea this time around.”

“Representing your country at the Olympic Games is a very special feeling, so I’m really excited to be named on the Aussie team for PyeongChang 2018,” Cox said.

“Australia has such a rich Olympic history both in summer and winter sports, so to be part of that legacy is a huge honour. I’m really inspired by the culture that exists within this Aussie team, we all push, encourage and inspire one another and that fuels me within my own personal sporting goals.”

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Sochi Olympians Brodie Summers and Matt Graham will return for their second Games at the Korean ski resort.

After rupturing his ACL in September 2017 and undergoing a relentless rehabilitation program, PyeongChang will be Summer’s return to competition.

“I am aware that my situation leading in to the Games hasn't been ideal but I am also extremely fortunate to have a body that bounces back well from injury,” Summers said.

Given the setbacks and challenges he has overcome, Summers is feeling “immensely proud” about today’s announcement and is motivated to improve on his 13th place Sochi finish.

“Being selected to any Olympic Team is always a huge deal but given what I have been through over the past four and a half months I think it has just made me appreciate it so much more.

“There were days during the rehab process where I felt like the world was against me and maybe I was reaching too far when trying to come back in time for the Games, but my team and I have found a way to overcome every obstacle we have encountered along the way.

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A more confident and experienced Graham will head into his second Games as the third ranked male mogul skier, fresh off four World Cup medals from seven events this season.

“I was only 19 years old in Sochi, so I was young and naive and wasn't quite sure on what to expect,” 23-year-old Graham said.

“With the experience gained in Sochi I will definitely feel more comfortable in the start gate at PyeongChang and I will better be able to handle the pressures and hype of the Games.

Graham, who finished 7th on debut at Sochi 2014, believes this year’s Team is “our strongest to date”.

“Australia's success in mogul skiing really goes back to the grass roots. I believe we have the best pathway in the world from the club programs at our local ski resorts all the way through the sporting institutes and to the national team. We have the best coaches and the best network of support so everything combined really creates a recipe for success.

“I get to travel the world and compete with and against my best friends, where we all enjoy the friendly competitive rivalry. My teammates push me to my limits and I try to return the favour as best as I can.”

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Joining the more experienced athletes as part of this close-knit team include debutants Jakara Anthony (19), Madii Himbury (24) and Claudia Gueli (20).

Young-gun Anthony had her break out season last year, where she qualified for two World Cup finals, placed 12th at her World Championships debut at Sierra Nevada, Spain and was selected to wear the green and gold at the Sapporo 2017 Asian Winter Games, where she placed sixth.

The skier from Barwon Heads, Victoria made her first 6-skier Super Final this season at the Deer Valley World Cup, where she placed fifth, and will head into her debut Olympic Games with a world ranking of 14.

“It’s really, really exciting, it’s a dream come true,” Anthony said of her selection in the 2018 Team.

“I decided I wanted to be an Olympian back when I was a little kid, when I started mogul skiing as a 10-year-old. I’ve been working towards this for quite a while now so it’s a really big goal to have achieved.”

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The men’s and women’s mogul skiing qualification events will be held at Bokwang Snow Park on Day 0 (February 9) with the women’s finals on Day 2 and the men’s on Day 3 (February 11-12).

Dale Begg-Smith claimed Australia’s first mogul skiing Olympic medal when he won gold at Torino 2006. He returned four years later to win silver at Vancouver 2010. Find out more about Australia’s freestyle skiing Olympians HERE.

Find out more about Freestyle Skiing at the PyeongChang Games HERE and see the full selected Team HERE.

*UPDATE: Mogul skier James Matheson will make his Olympic debut at PyeongChang 2018 after quota reallocation on January 26 saw five more athletes selected on the Team, taking the mogul skiing contingent to 7 athletes. Find out more HERE.

Georgia Thompson
olympics.com.au

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