Winter Olympians shine at Ski and Snowboard Awards
2 May 2019
Australia’s top ski and snowboard athletes converged on Melbourne for the 2019 Australian Ski and Snowboard Awards to celebrate the outstanding achievements during the last year, with Olympians Scotty James, Matt Graham and Jakara Anthony all claiming top gongs.
With an unbeaten season, triple Olympian Scotty James was awarded the Athlete of the Year (Olympic disciplines).
It was an unprecedented season for James who completed the perfect season winning every event he entered. As part of his incredible achievements, he notched up his third consecutive FIS World Championship title at Copper Mountain, USA, the first person to achieve such a feat.
On top of entering the World Championships record books, he also finished the season with wins at The Dew Tour, X Games, US Grand Prix, Laax Open and the US Burton Open.
Although unable to accept the award in person, James expressed his excitement for the award from his training camp in Switzerland and thanked his family, friends, institutes and sponsors.
“It’s an absolute honour to win this award, big congratulations to all the other nominees, what an amazing year for Australian wintersport and I’m really looking forward to getting back home this winter to train alongside all of you,” James said.
Triple Paralympian Melissa Perrine became the first female athlete, along with her sighted guide Bobbi Kelly, to win Athlete of the Year (Paralympic disciplines) and Matt Graham and Jakara Anthony took out the Outstanding Achievement award.
Graham and Anthony won Men’s and Women’s Moguls World Championships silver medals in Deer Valley, Utah on the one-year anniversary of the PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony. It marked the first World Championships podiums for both athletes, after the pair were the top placed Aussies at last year’s Olympic Winter Games.
Dual Olympian Graham has 15 World Cup podiums and an Olympic silver medal to his name, but was finally able to add a World Championships medal to his collection. While Anthony’s run of 78.99 in Final 2 sealed the silver medal for Australia, only 0.15 off the winner.
Ski and Snowboard Australia CEO Michael Kennedy said that across the season Australia’s elite ski and snowboard athletes showed outstanding skills on the world stage.
“It is never easy backing up from an Olympic season but to our athletes credit they not only maintained their performances but, in many cases, took their sport to the next level. Scotty James is a worthy winner tonight. He is without doubt the best Snowboard Halfpipe rider in the world and his unbeaten season confirms this.
“It is particularly pleasing to see the next generation coming through. From a Junior perspective the past 12 months have seen several new prospective stars emerge and we can’t wait to see what they can do in the lead up to Beijing 2022 and beyond.
“Congratulations to all the nominees and award winners, as well as their family and friends who helped them on their journey,” he finished.
You can find the complete list of all award winners HERE.