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Experienced Snowboard Halfpipe Team named for PyeongChang

25 January 2018

SNOWBOARD HALFPIPE: With seven previous Olympic Games and 22 World Cup and World Championship medals between them, the five athletes selected to represent Australia in snowboard halfpipe at PyeongChang 2018 know what it takes to be the best.

Triple Olympian Holly Crawford will compete at her fourth Games, looking to improve upon her best Olympic result of eighth at Vancouver 2010.

The 33-year-old has one gold and two silver World Championship medals under her belt and recently finished 10th at the 2017 World Championships in Sierra Nevada.

"After a long and bumpy road I am mostly relieved to have officially made the 2018 Olympic Team," Crawford said.

"It is less the Olympic Games itself and more the journey to get there that shapes an athlete. By the time you’re at the Olympics most of the hard work is already done and you just have to let yourself do what you’ve trained to do.

"I am very proud to have been able to represent Australia at the previous three Olympics and every four years I am prouder than the last!"

Holly Crawford Insta selection

She will be joined by two-time World Champion and Crystal Globe winner Scotty James.

With two 21st place halfpipe finishes from Vancouver and Sochi, plus a 16th place in snowboard slopestyle from 2010, James said his previous Olympic experiences have made him better prepared for his third Games.

“Having been to two Games and with the benefit of many more international competitions under my belt, I now understand what I have to do to achieve my goals,” the 23-year-old said.

“For me, representing my country in the Olympic Winter Team is the greatest honour that I have ever achieved. I really feed off the support that we give each other as Aussie Team members and the support that we receive from all over Australia.”

Sochi Olympians Kent Callister (22) and Nathan Johnstone (27) will return to the Team for their second Olympic experience.

Callister was the surprise packed of Sochi 2014, finishing ninth as the top ranked Australian in a star-studded field. Johnstone wasn’t too far behind, missing the final by one place to finish 13th on debut.

“I’m very excited to be heading to my second Olympic Games,” Callister said.

“I had a blast riding in Sochi so I’m looking forward to the whole Olympic experience at PyeongChang. I feel very grateful to be going to the Olympics again so I’m going to soak it all in.”

The only debutant in the halfpipe team, Emily Arthur, has also had her fair share of international experience.

The 18-year-old won halfpipe silver at the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games and placed 15th in snowboard slopestyle.

She recorded a career-best result at the 2017 Secret Garden World Cup in December, qualifying for her first final and finishing in sixth place. She heads into her debut Games with a world ranking of 13th.

“Being selected is the most insane moment of my life!” Arthur said.

“I've wanted to go to the Olympics for as long as I can remember, it's always been in the back of my mind growing up that maybe one day I could go, and I can't believe it’s now a reality.”

Arthur said it will be a dream come true to make her Olympic debut alongside athletes she has admired for years.

“I look up to the older girls on the Australian Team so much, they have really taken me in and been so amazing to me! They are the girls I looked up to when I was young and still do, I know they are going to look after me and definitely make the experience so fun.”

Crawford's advice to all the rookies on the Team is to "be proud and confident in the work they've put in."

"Trust in your ability, we all train and compete all year round and your body knows what it is doing so just let it. Most of all enjoy the ride and take it all in, you’ve earned it!"

Snowboard halfpipe will be held at the Bokwang Snow Park with women's qualifications on Day 3 (February 12) and finals the folowing day. The men’s qualifications runs are on Day 4 (February 13) and the finals on Day 5 (February 14). Find out more about snowboarding at PyeongChang HERE.

The team of Mitchell Allen, Andrew Burton, Ben Mates, Torah Bright and Holly Crawford made Australia’s snowboard halfpipe Olympic debut at Torino 2006. Bright has won Australia’s two snowboard halfpipe Olympic medals, with gold at Vancouver 2010 and silver at Sochi 2014. Find out more about Australia’s Olympic snowboard history HERE.

Georgia Thompson
olympics.com.au

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