Aussie boardercross athletes set for PyeongChang 2018
25 January 2018
SNOWBOARD CROSS: Five Australian athletes will hope to be the fastest down the mountain in the snowboard cross events at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, as four men and one women are selected to don the green and gold.
In the men’s event, dual World Champion Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin is set to make his third Olympic appearance, joined by Sochi 2014 duo Jarryd Hughes and Cameron Bolton. Olympic debutant Adam Lambert will round out the full Australian men’s contingent in his first Games appearance.
In the women’s event, Belle Brockhoff will hope to fly the Australian flag, pending medical clearance, after a turbulent 12 months of injury proved to be a tough path to her second Olympic campaign.
The veteran of the sport, Chumpy Pullin will embark on his third Olympic campaign after representing Australia at the Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 Games.
"I'm really happy to be headed to my 3rd Olympics. I have had a really fun season on the World Cup tour so far and happy to be coming into the games feeling good," Pullin said.
Pullin won Australia’s first snowboard cross World Championship title in 2011 and went on to create more history by defending his title in 2013. The 30-year-old is Australia’s most successful boardercross athlete on the World Cup circuit with 20 podium finishes, nine of those in the top spot from 73 races, but Pullin still marks the Olympics as the most important date on his competition calendar.
"Every year I get to compete against the best in our sport, in places all around the world, which really is what I do it for. But when the opportunity of the Olympics comes around, its certainly one I want to be sure im in my best form to make the most of it.
"All the same guys I race all year, but theres an atmosphere at the games like no other event. Not to mention a lot of people who get to watch on free to air at home in Aus. It just ads to the excitement of competing and I'm happy to go experience that again."
Pullin said at the past two Olympic Games in his career have been vastly different and he is looking forward to what the South Korean city has to offer.
"It will be fun to see how South Korea is and how the track rides. When it comes time, I aim to be ready and have a good time doing what I love in front of the biggest crowd we see in our careers."
22-year-old Jarryd Hughes said he was excited to be selected in his second Australian Olympic Team.
“I’m feeling like I’m in a really good spot right now and have had a heap of help from some amazing people and I’m looking forward to displaying all the new skills I’ve learnt,” Hughes said.
Hughes finished 14th in his Olympic debut at the Sochi 2014 Games, but has continued to improve over the past four years taking out the 2016 X-Games over teammate Pullin and securing two World Cup victories in 2017.
Victorian Cameron Bolton echoed Hughes’ thoughts, grateful for the opportunity to represent Australia on yet another Olympic stage.
“I can't wait for another opportunity to do my favourite thing in the world in front of our largest audience yet,” Bolton said.
“This Olympics will be another rollercoaster ride, and I'm looking forward to strapping myself in and taking it all on.”
Bolton was Australia’s top finisher in the boardercross event in Russia in 11th place. The 27-year-old secured his career best result in December 2015 with a World Cup fourth place at Montafon, Austria.
The only rookie in the quartet, 20-year-old Adam Lambert proved he was hungry for Olympic qualification when he secured a World Cup silver medal in December 2017 after only one season on the circuit.
“I'm really excited to get the nomination, the Olympics is the event that everyone wants to participate in and I've been working hard to solidify my spot. I feel like I'm well prepared, ready to compete and show Australia and the world what I've got,” Lambert said.
The Jindabyne athlete burst onto the international stage when he finished 7th in his second World Cup of his career. The youngster then went on to finish 14th at his first World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain.
Belle Brockhoff will join the boys, racing in the women’s event on Day 7 (February 16) of the 2018 Games, despite having endured an injury rollercoaster over the past year. The 25-year-old competed at the Sochi Games where she finished as the top Australian competitor in 8th place.
The Victorian has competed in 33 World Cup since her international debut in 2012, with three gold, three silver and one bronze to her name.
The Australian men will take to the snowboard cross track on Day 6 (February 15) of the PyeongChang 2018 Games at the Bokwang Phoenix Park.
The selection of athletes in the men's snowboard cross event is currently subject to an appeal. It should be noted that any appeal is on the basis of non-selection of an athlete and not an appeal against an individual who has been selected.
Find out more about the snowboard at the 2018 Olympic Games HERE.