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Hopefuls to Watch

Find out all the athletes that are in contention to represent Australia at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. 

<h5>Alex Pullin</h5>
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Alex Pullin

Born: Mansfield, Victoria

Snowboard Cross veteran, Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin will hope to make his third Olympic appearance at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games after 17th and 13th place finishes at Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 respectively.

With years of experience on his side, the 29-year-old finished the 2016/17 World Cup season ranked fourth in the world. He won the Feldberg World Cup in Germany in February, and won two bronze World Cup medals in Montafon, Austria and Veysonnaz, Switzerland.

At the 2017 Sierra Nevada World Championships in Spain, Chumpy went head-to-head with the world’s best boarders in the six-man final, fighting his way to claim the bronze medal.

<h5>Cameron Bolton</h5>
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Cameron Bolton

Born: Melbourne, Victoria

Cam Bolton is aiming to make his second Olympic appearance at the PyeongChang 2018 Games after the broader-cross rider debuted at the Sochi 2014 Games, finishing as the top Aussie in 11th place.

The 26-year-old from Clayton Bay, South Australia originally competed in both skiing and snowboarding, but at age 15 made the decision to specialise in snowboard cross.

After securing his best World Championships result to date, a 15th place at the 2015 Championships in Austria, Bolton narrowly missed out on his first ever World Cup podium at the opening race of the 2015/16 season, finishing a personal best fourth place. Bolton wrapped up his 2016/17 ranked 20th in the international rankings.

The talented rider, who finished fifth at the prestigious X Games leading into Sochi, has also competed in Surf Lifesaving at a national level in the Ironman, Board Race, Surf Race, and 2km Beach Run. 

Kailani Craine

Born: Newscastle, NSW

Figure skater, Kailani Craine is looking to make her Olympic debut at the PyeongChang 2018 Games at just 19-years-old. 

The Newcastle-native had huge 2014 and 2015 seasons that saw her claim both the national Junior and Senior Ladies Championships. In December 2016, she successfully defended her title for the third successive year. 

During the 2016-2017 season, Craine medalled twice, firstly with a bronze at the 31st Volvo Open Cup in Riga, Latvia before she claimed silver at the ISU Challenger event Warsaw Cup in Poland. 

Craine, who splits her training time between Newcastle and LA, made her World Championship debut in 2016, finishing in 27th place before improving to 24th position in 2017.  Off the ice, Craine has a huge social media following with over 120k followers on her Instagram account.

<h5>Nate Johnstone hopeful header</h5>
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Nate Johnstone

Born: Sydney, NSW

Nate Johnstone was the first Australian to win the World Snowboard Halfpipe Championships in 2011. The same year he also won the FIS World Cup Crystal Globe for Halfpipe and the first ever overall Freestyle Crystal Globe.

He made his Olympic debut in Sochi at the age of 23. A gutsy semi-final performance was not quite enough to get Johnstone through, missing out on a spot in the final by just one place, finishing 13th overall. 

He placed 11th at the Mammoth Mountain World Cup in February 2017, before placing 31st at the Olympic Test Event at Phoenix PyeongChang. Johnstone placed 14th at the Sierra Nevada 2017 World Championships in Spain.

<h5>John Farrow</h5>
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John Farrow

Born: Sydney, NSW

Australia’s top male Skeleton athlete, John Farrow is looking to make his second Olympic appearance at the PyeongChang 2018 track, after a stellar 2016/2017 season saw him crowned overall North American Cup Champion.

The Sydney-sider made his Olympic debut in the daring sport of skeleton at the 2014 Sochi Games, recording Australia’s best ever result of 17th.

This result was a true testament to the former Mountain Bike professional’s dedication after he overcame a serious knee injury that saw him rupture his ACL, LCL, hamstring, popliteal tendon, breaking his tibia and doing peroneal nerve damage.

The 35-year-old will be Australia’s only returning Olympian in the skeleton discipline when he takes to the track at the Alpensia Sliding Centre. 

Matilda Friend

Born: Sydney, NSW

17-year-old Matilda Friend and Ice Dance partner, William Badaoui will hopefully realise their Olympic dream at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games.

A busy 2016/2017 season saw the pair finish 15th at the Four Continents Championships and 25th at the 2017 World Junior Championships. The Macquarie Ice Rink skaters were selected in the Australian team for the 2017 Asian Winter Games where the pair secured a 6th place finish.

The four-time Junior National Champions won their first senior Australian title at the 2016/2017 Championships. 

William Badaoui

Born: Sydney, NSW

William Badaoui will look to join on-ice partner, Matilda Friend at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in the Ice Dancing competition.

A busy 2016/2017 season saw the pair finish 15th at the Four Continents Championships and 25th at the 2017 World Junior Championships. The Macquarie Ice Rink skaters were selected in the Australian team for the 2017 Asian Winter Games where the pair secured a 6th place finish.

The four-time Junior National Champions won their first senior Australian title at the 2016/2017 Championships. 

Adam Lambert

Born: Sydney, NSW

19-year-old Adam Lambert will look to fulfil a lifelong dream of competing at the Winter Olympics when he hopefully lines up for the PyeongChang 2018 Games.

After finishing 5th at the 2016 FIS Junior World Championships in Slovakia, the teenager made his first open World Cup appearance in March 2017 at La Molina, securing a 6th place finish that propelled him into the top twenty world rankings.

A week later, Lambert, the youngest of all the Australian competitors, finished the 2017 World Championships in 6th place behind fellow Aussie Alex Pullin who secured the bronze medal. Lambert was crowned Junior Athlete of the Year at the 2017 Ski and Snowboard Australian awards.

<h5>Claudia Gueli hopeful header</h5>
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Claudia Gueli

Born: Melbourne, VIC

Claudia Gueli made her international debut in 2014 at the age of 17. Three years later the moguls skier from Mt Buller made her World Cup debut in January 2017, placing 27th in her first race at Lake Placid, USA.

2017 was a breakthrough season for Gueli who competed in 10 World Cup events in the space of two months. The 19-year-old made her first World Cup final at Thaiwoo Park, China in late February, finishing 13th overall. She also placed 11th in the dual moguls event in Thaiwoo.

Gueli finished the 2016/17 World Cup season ranked 24th in the world, and was the third highest ranked Australian, behind dual Olympian Britt Cox who won the overall Crystal Globe, and Jakara Anthony ranked 22nd. She is looking to make her Olympic debut at Pyeongchang 2018 and be part of the very strong Australian female mogul contingent. 

<h5>Alec Scott hopeful</h5>
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Alec Scott

Born: Mulgrave, NSW

A young gun on the rise, Alec Scott will be looking to bounce back from injury just in time to make his Olympic debut in PyeongChang.

Having already qualified for the 2017 World Championships, Scott tore his ACL at a lead up event and required surgery and a lengthy recovery.

The Falls Creek skier is one of the nation’s most talented and was recently nominated for the Ski and Snowboard Australia Junior Snowsport Athlete of the Year.

<h5>Jarryd Hughes</h5>
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Jarryd Hughes

Born: Sydney, NSW

After making his first mark on the international snowboard cross circuit in 2012, claiming a silver medal at the Junior World Championships, Jarryd Hughes will look to line up for his second Olympic Games at PyeongChang.

Hughes was ranked number two in the world on the FIS World Cup Rankings heading into his debut Games at Sochi, but finished in a disappointing 17th place.

In 2016, the youngster had a momentous victory at the X-Games in Aspen, CO, USA, where the Sydney-sider led a historic 1-2 finish, with teammate Alex Pullin in second.

<h5>Britt Cox Hopefuls header</h5>
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Britt Cox

Born: Wodonga, Victoria

Competing at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games in moguls, 15-year-old Britt Cox was the youngest athlete at the 2010 Games. Cox placed 23rd at her Olympic debut in Canada.

Four years later and 19-year-old Cox was a leader in the Australian women’s moguls contingent. Cox fought hard to get into the six-woman super-final at Sochi, ending her campaign in an impressive fifth place.

The 2016/2017 World Cup season saw the now 22-year-old win gold in seven of the 11 World Cup events of the season, and podium at two other events. She was awarded the women’s FIS Freestyle Skiing Crystal Globe, as the athlete who had accumulated the most points in any of the freestyle skiing disciplines.

Two weeks later, Cox became Australia’s first ever moguls skiing World Champion when she took out the title in Sierra Nevada, Spain in March 2017, making her one of Australia’s most successful winter athletes of all time. The 2017 Snowsports Australia Athlete of the Year will be the one to beat for Olympic glory at PyeongChang 2018.

<h5>Georgia Baff</h5>
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Georgia Baff

Born: Jindabyne, NSW

19-year-old Georgia Baff will look to make her Olympic debut at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics in her chosen discipline of Snowboard Cross.

Baff grew up in Jindabyne as a skier before switching to snowboarding in 2012 on the advice of her father, renowned coach Peter Baff.

After finishing fourth at the 2015 Junior World Championships, Baff showed serious improvement during the 2017 season, securing eight top ten finishes after 11 starts in the North American Cup circuit.

<h5>Phil Bellingham Hopeful</h5>
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Phil Bellingham

Born: Mount Beauty, VIC

A strong start to 2017 has cross country skier Phil Bellingham on track to compete at his second Olympic Games in PyeongChang.

The sprint specialist who grew up at the base of the Falls Creek snowfields was only seconds away from qualifying for the 30-man sprint final at the 2017 World Championships and also won an event in the Czech Republic earlier in the season.

Having made his Olympic debut in 2014, Bellingham now has his sights on bettering his best Sochi result of 55th in the individual sprint. 

<h5>Jackie Narracott</h5>
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Jackie Narracott

Born: Brisbane, Queensland

Jaclyn (Jackie) Narracott will hope to realise her Olympic dream at the PyeongChang 2018 Games after following in her family’s footsteps with uncle Paul Narracott being Australia’s first athlete to compete at both a Summer and Winter Olympic Games.

26-year-old Narracott will take to the skeleton track 34 years after her uncle Paul’s debut, who competed in the men’s 100m and 200m sprint at the Los Angeles Games in 1984 before participating in the two-man bobsleigh at Albertville 1992.

The Queenslander, who has a strong athletics background, took her first ride on a skeleton sled in 2012 and made her skeleton World Cup debut at the end of 2014 with her best result to date being a 7th place finish at the Lake Placid World Cup in January 2016.

Narracott has had several top-10 finishes at North American Cup events, including winning silver in Calgary in November 2016 before finishing 17th at the 2017 World Championships in Königssee, Germany.

<h5>Russ Henshaw hopeful header</h5>
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Russ Henshaw

Born: Sydney, NSW

Russ Henshaw was Australia's only male competitor in Ski Slopestyle when the sport made its Olympic debut at the Sochi 2014 Games. Twenty-three-year-old Henshaw entered the Games under an injury cloud but easily qualified for the final to finish eighth overall.

The Sydney-born athlete made a name for himself in 2011 when he grabbed slopestyle silver at the X Games in Aspen and bronze in the World Championships in Park City, USA.

The 26-year-old won bronze at the Seiser Alm World Cup in Italy in January 2017. He contested three World Cup events during the season, placing in the top 20 in all events before heading to Sierra Nevada for the 2017 World Championships for an impressive eighth place finish.

<h5>Emily Arthur hopeful header</h5>
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Emily Arthur

Born: Woronora Heights, NSW

Emily Arthur had her first taste of Olympic glory at the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Winter Olympic Games, when the Opening Ceremony Flag Bearer won Snowboard Halfpipe silver before claiming 15th in the Slopestyle event.

After qualifying for her first World Cup in August 2013, Arthur won bronze at the Junior World Championships in 2014 and finished 16th at the World Snowboard Championships in Austria in January 2015. Arthur won gold at the Australia and New Zealand Championships in August 2015 before qualifying for the Youth Winter Olympics.

The 2016/17 season saw the 18-year-old finish in the top 20 in all her World Cup events, including a 10th place finish at the Olympic Test Event in PyeongChang. Her season ended with an impressive 17th place finish at the World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain and a 19th place ranking on the Halfpipe world standings.

<h5>Belle Brockhoff</h5>
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Belle Brockhoff

Born: Melbourne, Victoria

After a stellar 2016/17 season that saw Belle Brockhoff finish as the third ranked female Snowboard Cross athlete in the world, the 24-year-old is hoping to contest her second Olympics at the PyeongChang 2018 Games after first hitting the slopes at age 3.

Following in the footsteps of her uncle Peter who competed at the 1960 and 1964 Winter Olympics, the then 21-year-old made her Olympic debut at the Sochi 2014 Games finishing as the highest ranked Australian boardercross athlete in  8th position.

The Victorian made history at the final event of the 2016 season in Baqueira Beret, Spain by becoming the first Australian female to win a Snowboard Cross World Cup. Her consistency carried into 2016-2017 season where she won three World Cup medals (two gold and one silver), resulting in a personal best world ranking of third. 

<h5>Sophie Ash hopefuls header</h5>
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Sophie Ash

Born: Brisbane, QLD

Sophie Ash was a member of the 30-strong team that represented Australia at the 8th Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, February 2017. The 20-year-old finished fifth in the ladies’ moguls event and seventh in the dual moguls.

Although Ash is yet to make her World Cup debut, she has featured on the North-American Cup circuit since early 2014 with her best result a fifth-place finish at the Canada Nor-Am Cup in February 2016.

Ash finished in the top-20 in all her competitions, bar one, during the 2017/17 Northern Hemisphere season, ending the season ranked 14th on the Nor-Am circuit.

<h5>Andy Jung hopeful header</h5>
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Andy Jung

Born:  Korea

Korean born Hyun Woo (Andy) Jung made his World Cup debut for Australia in 2013 and qualified for his first World Championships in 2014 where he placed 28th in the 500m.

The Melbourne-based skater was one of the 30 athletes selected to represent Australia at the 2017 Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan. He narrowly missed qualification for the semi-finals in both the 500m and 1000m short track events, finishing third and fourth respectively in his heats. Overall, Jung placed 11th in the 1000m, 12th in the 500m and helped Australia to an impressive 7th place in the 5000m relay.

An impressive performance in the men’s 500m at the 2017 World Short Track Championships in Rotterdam had Jung finish in 12th place. He also made it through the preliminary round in the 1500m at the Worlds, ending his 2017 season ranked 30th in the World.

<h5>Samantha Wells hopeful</h5>
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Samantha Wells

Born: Waratah, NSW

Having been a gymnast from a young age, Samantha Wells took Aerial Skiing after being identified as a potential star of the sport by Australian World Champion Jacqui Cooper.

She made her Olympic debut in Sochi in 2014 where she finished 18th. Heading towards her second Olympic appearance in PyeongChang, Wells secured three medals on the World Cup circuit in the 2016/17 season.

She made her World Championships debut in 2015 where she placed 6th before claiming 10th at the 2017 event in Sierra Nevada, Spain. 

<h5>Keanu Blunden hopeful header</h5>
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Keanu Blunden

Born: Kogarah, NSW

Keanu Blunden was one of 30 athletes selected to represent Australia at the Sapporo 2017 Asian Winter Games. The short track speed skater from Sydney narrowly missed qualifying for the semi-finals of the 500m, finishing 14th, and was unfortunately disqualified in the 1500m semi-final.

Along with his teammates and fellow PyeongChang hopeful skaters Pierre Boda, Alex Bryant and Andy Jung, the team skated to 7th in the men’s 5000m relay.

Blunden made his ISU World Cup debut in 2015. At the 2017 World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships, Blunden placed 18th in the 1000m,  21st in the 1500m and 39th in the 500m.

<h5>James Matheson hopeful header</h5>
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James Matheson

Born: Buenos Aires, Argentina

James Matheson began freestyle skiing in 2004 and emerged on the international moguls scene in 2010 when he qualified for the Europa Cup at the age of 15. The following year he was crowned the under-19 Australian moguls champion.

After winning bronze at the Val St. Come North American Cup event in 2016, and winning silver in the Australian and New Zealand dual moguls event in the same year, Matheson qualified for his first full World Cup tour for the 2016/17 season.

The 22-year-old competed in 10 World Cup events in the space of a few months, with his best result an 18th place finish at the Thaiwoo World Cup in February. He went on to qualify for his first World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain, where he placed 29th in the single moguls event and 28th in dual moguls.

<h5>Sami Kennedy-Sim</h5>
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Sami Kennedy-Sim

Born: Sydney, NSW

Sydney-sider Sami Kennedy-Sim will look to make her second Olympic appearance at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games after finishing 28th in the women’s ski cross event at the Sochi Olympics.

Across the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons, the 29-year-old had several top ten performances but it was her 2016/2017 season where she truly impressed the international circuit with 5 top 10 performances and a silver medal at the Idre Fjall World Cup.

Kennedy-Sim, who married Vancouver Olympian Ben Sim in 2011, wrapped up her season with a 12th place at the 2017 World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain. 

<h5>David Morris hopeful</h5>
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David Morris

Born: Carlton, VIC

A former gymnast, David Morris was recruited to Aerial Skiing by World Champion Kirstie Marshall and began his international competitive career in 2007.

Following his first World Cup appearance in 2009 he made his Olympic debut in 2010, where he finished 13th. Four years later he became Australia’s first ever male aerials Olympic medallist when he jumped to a stunning silver in Sochi.

Despite not having a 2016/17 World Cup season up to his own high standards, Morris pulled it out when it mattered winning bronze at the 2017 World Championships as he builds towards his third Olympic appearance in PyeongChang.