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Where it all began for World Champion Britt Cox

1 December 2017

MOGULS: Expectations might carry a lot of weight for aspiring athletes, yet for Mogul Skiing World Champion and Crystal Globe winner Britt Cox, training and competing at her best comes as second nature and is a welcome challenge the already two-time Olympian readily accepts.

On the record multiple times for saying that her inspiration lies in wanting to be a better skier “next week and the week after”, the 23-year-old also has a few role models whose achievements propelled a very young Britt Cox to be the best she can be.

From Mt Beauty in the Victorian alpine region, Cox’s first major event as a young child in 2003 was memorable, not least because she won, but also because she was motivated by the Olympic gold medal performance of Aerial Skier Alisa Camplin.

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“When I was seven I remember watching Alisa win gold at the 2002 Olympics. That was hugely inspiring to me,” Cox recalled earlier this year.

“The next year (2003) was my first ever interschools and we were next to the Aerials site at Mt Buller, where Alisa and the Aerials team were training. I won my first interschools mogul competition that day.

“After my race, I waited at the top of the lift so Alisa could sign my result sheet. I’ll never forget that. Alisa has been a role model for me and over the years, I’ve got to know her.”

Graeme Cox still remembers his daughter’s first win more than fourteen years ago.

“Britt was eight (years-of-age) in August 2003. I was standing there with Steve Lee (Olympic skier). Britt and Steve’s daughter Layla were in the comp. As soon as we saw Britt’s run we knew that was the run that would take comp,” he recalled clearly.

Graeme Cox, who was then a moguls coach and is now the Winter Sports Director at the Snow Sports School in Falls Creek with around twenty coaches working for him in all snow disciplines, knows what he is watching.

“At the time, I was just happy that she was enjoying herself. I do remember Britt wanting to go autograph hunting. She’d already been to the presentation and she had a copy of her results sheet and went over to wait,” he said.

The respect and admiration goes both ways between Camplin and Cox.

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Camplin, an Olympic gold and bronze medallist who will join the 2018 Australian Olympic Team as its Performance Manager, was very moved when reminded about the very young Britt Cox waiting for her at the top of the lift on Mt Buller in 2003.

“Britt makes my heart melt,” an emotional Camplin said on recognising how important the interaction had been.

“I’m just one of many in the winter sport community who have watched Britt grow up. It’s been easy to respect, admire and want good things for Britt because she does all the right things.

“She’s in the gym, communicates openly and honestly, is grateful, appreciative and open-minded – the list goes on.

“Britt is always hungry to be better and is humble and kind in the process.

“We hope to see her effort turn into the outcome she wants. She’s an experienced young lady now and it’s easy to respect her.”

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Camplin has swapped a media role for a voluntary Performance Manager position at PyeongChang 2018.

“I had a great experience in two Olympic Games (as an athlete) that led to a wonderful outcome and then two Olympics on the media side,” she said.

“I’m now inside the team and want to help create the high performance environment and the greatest chance of success.

“I realise how important support was (to the athletes). I recognised it back then and I want to be able to give back, by providing that support for our current and future athletes.

“It’s a chance to help other athletes fulfil their dreams.”

The 43-year-old is no stranger to the high performance environment. Her strengths and experiences now see the dual Olympic medallist as Deputy Chair of the Australian Sports Commission and on the Boards of the Olympic Winter Institute Australia and Collingwood Football Club.

“Being an elite athlete is like having a deep level of inner trust and inner belief and that’s what allows Britt to achieve her ultimate potential. The results take care of themselves,” she said.

Camplin is excited about her role as Performance Manager next February.

“It’s energising to meet the athletes (again). There is such a positive culture around the winter athletes. Everyone is focussed on the right thing and there is open communication. To know all of this is happening before PyeongChang instils a lot of confidence,” she said.

For Britt Cox, who is approaching her third Olympics at just 23-years-of-age, the final push towards PyeongChang has begun with the OWIA and NSWIS mogul skiers now training in Ruka, Finland ahead of the season’s first World Cup on December 9.

As a seasoned international athlete, Cox is well accustomed to being away from home for many months at a time.

“Living away from home from so young, I had to learn to be independent,” she said.

Compared to others her age, Britt says she, “has matured faster in some aspects and behind in others.”

Completing her communications degree is an important tick on her to do list, but it can wait for a while because “education will always be there.”

For now, her focus is on this season and defending the extraordinary results from last season when she captured seven World Cup victories in eleven events.

“Last season, whenever one of us got a result, the rest of us were happy and would try even harder so we could all be on the top of the podium,” she said.

The accolades since her Crystal Globe award in March this year as the overall best freestyle skier in the world have come thick and fast.

Cox was jointly awarded as Ski & Snowboard Australia’s Athlete of the Year with Snowboarder Scotty James in April and two weeks ago as the New South Wales Institute of Sport Female Athlete of the Year.

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Will PyeongChang 2018 be her final Olympics?

“There will be another Olympics after this!” Britt Cox declared.

The opening Mogul Skiing World Cup begins with Ladies Qualification on December 9 in Ruka, Finland. Also competing will be OWIA athlete Jakara Anthony and NSWIS skiers including Taylah O’Neill, Madii Himbury, Claudia Gueli, Sophie Ash and Krystle Yin.

The Australian Men’s contingent is led by multiple World Cup medallist Matt Graham along with NSWIS skiers Rohan Chapman-Davie, James Matheson and Cooper Woods-Topalovic.

Belinda Noonan
OWIA

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