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Banter and bonding the key to Aerials success

Published 8 September 2017 (AEDT)

AERIALS: Aerial skiing might be an individual sport but it is the incredible team bond that is helping to ensure our Australian athletes are flying higher than ever before.

Currently training on the water ramps at Utah Olympic Park, the Australian team lives, trains and laughs together as they build towards the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

There is plenty to be happy about for the Aussie contingent with each of the team landing on the World Cup podium last season, and all appear to have a shot at adding to Australia’s five Aerials Olympic medals at PyeongChang next year.  

“When there's good banter, that's a decent sign of a well bonded team, and our banter is pretty constant,” said Sochi 2014 silver medallist and 2017 World Championships bronze medallist David Morris.

“Everyone is doing really well and being as supportive as they can whilst also making sure they concentrate on themselves. The mood is always good up on the ramps, the team is always having a good time and I can honestly say everyone is jumping really well which in turn makes training more enjoyable all-round.

“We will definitely be a force to reckoned with come the snowfall.”

Morris’ roommate is World Championship silver medallist Danielle Scott is also thriving in the positive environment.  

“The team dynamic is pretty chill right now as every World Cup athlete has already qualified for the Games according to our national criteria,” she said.

“Dave and I live together and it is a lot of fun pushing each other inside and outside of training, we have a lot of hilarious banter!”

The Utah sun is a long way from the icy competition slopes that will soon be upon the Aussie athletes and they are lapping up the warmer weather for as long as they can.

“I love water ramp training mainly because it's summer,” said Scott.

“It's a lot harder on the body but I'm a summer girl at heart so I don't know if I could do this sport if we didn't have a summer.

“Training is going well. I'm working on some pretty technical parts of my jumping so it's been intense but good.

“My coaches Joe and Jeff have been fantastic in pushing me and giving me everything I need to be the best jumper I can be leading into next season.”

With the strong training base in place Scott is confident she will be ready to go come the PyeongChang 2018 Games.

“It sure is a different feeling leading into these Games now that I have one under my belt,” she said.

“It will be nice to enjoy the hype as opposed to being a little overwhelmed by it.

“The first Olympics for us is usually about gaining experience so I do feel a lot more confident knowing that I have that experience and can focus more on my performance.”

Morris is also making the most of the camp in Utah.

“I'm smashing training at the moment,” he said.

“I came over here well prepared after an intense strength and fitness camp at the VIS and have hit the ground running and haven't stopped.

“We've been incredibly fortunate with almost perfect weather every day, we haven't had any cancelled sessions and the whole team has utilised this opportunity.

“After a lot of work fixing things last year I was quickly able to get up to speed and up to my hardest skills rather quickly which is always more fun because the more twists I do the more I enjoy it.”

Matt Bartolo

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