2018 Wrap Up: January's biggest hits
6 December 2018
AOC: January 2018 was an exciting time for the Australian Olympic Team, with the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games on the horizon in February and anticipation in the air, the year kicked off with a bang!
January gave Australian audiences a taste of what was to come at PyeongChang 2018, with winter Olympians wrapping up their pre-Games campaigns and winning several medals.
First cabs off the rank were mogul skiers, Britt Cox and Matt Graham who claimed gold and bronze, respectively, at the Moguls World Cup in Calgary, during the first week of the year.
Graham went on to claim another bronze at the Deer Valley World Cup a few days later, while Cox placed 4th.
It wasn’t long after that fellow Winter Olympians, Lydia Lassila and Laura Peel claimed a gold and bronze of their own at the Aerial Skiing World Cup in Lake Placid, New York.
Claiming gold was redemption for soon-to-be-five-time winter Olympian, Lassila, who placed 13th at Deer Valley, her most recent competition prior.
Junior World Champion, Tess Coady became the first Australian snowboarder to win a Slopestyle World Cup medal when the 17-year-old won bronze in Snowmass, Colorado.
Halfpipe royalty Scotty James claimed silver at Snowmass with a massive score of 96.25, only being beaten by America’s Shaun White, who scored an incredibly rare perfect 100.
More history was made by cross-country skiers Jessica Yeaton and Barbara Jezersek, who made Australia’s first ever Team Sprint final at the FIS Ski World Cup in Dresden, Germany.
Fellow Aussies Callum Watson and Phil Bellingham just missed out on achieving the same feat in the men’s event, claiming 12th overall.
Figure Skating duo Harley Windsor and Ekaterina ‘Katia’ Alexandrovskaya also bagged an ‘Australian first’ at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Taiwan, after becoming the first Australians to receive an ISU Senior Championship medal.
Off the slopes, the AOC celebrated the late great 'Golden Girl' Betty Cuthbert and two-time Olympic bronze medal winner, Marlene Mathews, unveiling a statue in their honour.
Cuthbert and Mathews set 11 world records between them at the former Sydney Sports Ground, and their remarkable achievement saw them as the first female athletes to be added to the bronze sculptures within the SCG precinct.
The Australian Open took place, with Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniaki taking out the men's and women's singles, while Oliver Marach and Mate Pavić along with Tímea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic took out the men's and women's doubles. Gabriela Dabrowski and Mate Pavić claimed the mixed title.
Nick Kyrgios, who took out the Brisbane International title in January, made it to round four of the Australian Open mens singles, while John Millman made it to the second round.
Ash Barty made it to the third round and Daria Gavrilova the second, before being knocked out.
Leyton Hewitt and Sam Groth made it to the quarterfinals in the men's doubles, while Casey Dellacqua and Barty made it to round two.
Both Stosur and Groth and Dellacqua and John Peers combined to make it to the quarterfinals of the mixed event, while future youth Olympian, Rinky Hijikata made it to the quarterfinals of the boys' singles.
Paralympian Dylan Alcott took out both the men's wheelchair quad singles and wheelchair quad doubles.
The Australian men and women’s Rugby Sevens also claimed early bragging rights, with both taking out gold at the Sydney Sevens.
Australia Day honours were also handed out to some incredible Olympians, recognising their contribution to Australian sport.
Betty Cuthbert AC (posthumous)
Michael Turtur AO
Gillian Rolton AM (posthumous)
Shane Gould AM
Susie O’Neill AM
Rechelle Hawkes AM
Michele Timms AM
Simon Baker OAM
Also in January, the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) joined forces with the Australian Skate federation and Skate Australia to form the Skateboard 2020 Commission, after skateboarding was added to the Olympic Programme.
The launch brought together 12 of the country’s top Olympic skateboard prospects, together with leading industry experts, giving the sport a major boost for its Olympic progress.