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OAM for 2006 Olympic Winter Gold Medallist

26 January 2017

AOC: The Australia Day Honours List include Mr Dale Nygel Begg-Smith who has received a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division for his Services to Sport.

Mr Begg-Smith, who celebrated his 32nd birthday last week, won the Gold Medal for Men’s Mogul Skiing at the 2006 Torino Olympic Winter Games as a 21-year-old.

Begg-Smith came from Canada to settle in Australia as a 15-year-old with his 17-year-old brother Jason to become a part of the Australian sports system and to work with Olympic Winter Institute of Australia legendary coach, Steve Desovich.

His international career over three Olympics (Torino, Vancouver and Sochi) delivered the Olympic Gold Medal (Torino), Olympic Silver (Vancouver), one World Championship (2007), 18 World Cup golds and four overall World Cup Championships.

“I am honoured and proud to have received this recognition,” Mr Begg-Smith said.

"I had excellent support from Australia, my organisations and team mates and I’m proud to remember what we achieved together, particularly during each World Cup season and then the Torino and Vancouver campaigns.

"I would not have had the opportunity to achieve what I did without being a member of the Australian team and I am both appreciative and grateful.”

Widely regarded as the pioneer of Mogul Skiing in Australia, Dale Begg-Smith has mentored current Men’s world-ranked number three, Matt Graham and Ladies dual World Cup winner Britt Cox.

“Dale’s performance in Torino is one of most favourite memories of an Australian at an Olympic Winter Games,” said CEO of the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, Geoff Lipshut.

“To be ranked number one, expected to win and absolutely do it when it counts is the definition of a true champion.

“Dale’s performance in Vancouver four years later in different circumstances was extra special. Returning from serious injury within twelve months, he was again on top of the world and gave himself every chance to win a second gold.

“The legacy Dale created for Australians in mogul skiing is obvious in 2017 when we see Matt Graham and Britt Cox. These young Australian skiers who were fortunate enough to be team-mate’s of Dale’s are now near the best of the world themselves.

“Australia had never had anyone near medal contention prior to Dale and the success Australia has enjoyed since is because of his influence,” Mr Lipshut stated.

In early February, Begg-Smith will meet up with Graham and Cox in Deer Valley, Utah for the season’s fifth World Cup. 

Mike Tancred

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