Hopefuls to Watch
Find out all the athletes that are in contention to represent Australia at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
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.
Born: Gosford, NSW
At the age of 19, Matt Graham made his Olympic debut in moguls at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Graham came agonisingly close to making the super-final in Sochi, finishing just 0.01 of a point behind American Patrick Deneen in Final 2, placing him seventh, one position short of a super-final entry.
22-year-old Graham finished third in the overall world rankings after the 2016/17 season. After standing on the podium at four World Cup events during the season, including winning gold in Calgary in January, Graham placed 14th at the 2017 Sierra Nevada World Championships in March.
Hailing from Gosford on the NSW Central Coast, Graham joined the Perisher Winter Sports Club Moguls program at the age of seven with his three siblings. As a junior in 2008 he got the opportunity to train with his hero Dale Begg- Smith and the pair competed together in Sochi.
Born: Melbourne, VIC
Alpine skier Louis Muhlen wore the green and gold for Australia at the 2016 Youth Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer winning a surprise bronze medal in the ski cross event.
Having finished 17th and 29th in the Alpine Combined and Super G events, Muhlen decided to also line up in ski cross where he became one of five Australians to record a podium finish in Norway.
Muhlen attends the Sugar Bowl Academy in California and regularly competes in North America. He secured three podium finishes in the 2017 season and also finished in the top 30 in both the Giant Slalom and Downhill at the 2017 Junior World Championships.
Born: Perth, WA
Moguls skier Brodie Summers secured his place on the 2014 Australian Winter Olympic Team when he produced two top-20 World Cup results just prior to the Sochi Games. Summers qualified best of the three Australians for Final 1 at Sochi, but then missed out on a spot in Final 2 by 0.1 of a point, placing 13th overall.
The skier from Melbourne ended the 2016/2017 World Cup series ranked eighth in the world in his discipline having podiumed twice in the season, winning silver at the World Cup in Thaiwoo and bronze in dual moguls in Deer Valley.
The 23-year-old was the best placed Australian male at the 2017 World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain, narrowly missing out on a top-10 finish after placing 11th in an extremely competitive field.
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.
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.
Born: Moscow, Russia
Moscow-born Ekaterina ‘Katia’ Alexandrovskaya and her partner Harley Windsor are looking to make their Olympic debut in pairs figure skating at PyeongChang 2018.
17-year-old Alexandrovskaya was introduced to Windsor in late 2015 by Windsor’s coaches Galina and Andrei Pachin and the pair gelled instantly.
The dynamic duo were the first Australians to make an ISU Final event and to win an ISU event. Their historic success continued when they won the 2017 Junior World Figure Skating Championships in Taipei City, Taiwan.
Their performance followed a ground-breaking gold medal at a Junior Grand Prix in Estonia in 2016, another first for Australian figure skating.
Born: Dural, NSW
After making his international debut at the age of 17, Matt Thomas will look to compete at his first Olympic Games in 2018.
The boarder from Dural, NSW had his first international podium finish with gold at the Tremblant North American Cup in Canada in January 2015. Later that year he improved his Junior World Championships standing to sixth place and qualified for his first World Cup event in Austria, where he placed 22nd.
In 2016 the 22-year-old contested the Olympic Test Event at Bokwang Park in PyeongChang, placing 13th in the World Cup event.
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.
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.
Born: East St Kilda, VIC
After trying his hand in moguls, Ryley Lucas turned his attention to Ski Slopestyle and made his international debut on the North-American Cup circuit in 2015.
The following year he stood upon his first Nor-Am podium when he won bronze at Buttermilk Mountain in February 2016.
21-year-old Lucas contested four World Cup events in 2017 with his best result being a 27th place finish in Font Romeu in January. He made his World Championships debut in Sierra Nevada, Spain, where he placed 39th.
Born: Campbelltown, SA
After a character building debut Games at Sochi where he fell in his pet event, the 500m, Daniel Greig will be aiming to rectify his Games experience if he qualifies for PyeongChang 2018.
Solid improvements in the 2016/17 season saw Greig slowly progress through the B-Division ranks during the World Cup season before a second place at the Kazakhstan World Cup qualified him into the A-Division towards the end of the season.
After a back injury stumped his 2017 World Championships experience, Greig will be more determined than ever to hit the track at Gangnueng Oval in February 2018.
Born: Camperdown, NSW
Pierre Boda was 20 when he made his Olympic debut at the Sochi 2014 Olympics, competing in the men’s 500m short track speed skating event. Boda put together a solid race but just wasn’t quite able to be in the first two over the line, finishing 30th overall.
Boda placed 10th in the 1000m at the Olympic Test Event in Gangneung, Korea in December 2016 before being selected as one of 30 athletes to represent Australia at the 2017 Asian Winter Games in Sapporo.
Against an extremely competitive field in Japan, Boda finished 10th in the 1500m and 14th in the 1000m before helping the Australian men’s relay team place 7th in the 5000m relay. He finished the 2017 season with an overall world ranking of 35.
Born: Canberra, ACT
Having both a strong skiing and gymnastics background Laura Peel first took up aerial skiing in 2009 and by 2012 had become the fifth Australian female to win a World Cup event.
On Olympic debut in Sochi, Peel performed strongly to finish the event in 7th. A year later she was crowned World Champion after winning gold in Kreischberg, Austria.
Building towards her second Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang, she secured a podium finish at the 2016/17 Moscow World Cup event and finished 8th at the 2017 World Championships.
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.
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.
Barbara Jezersek has her sights set on competing at her third Olympic Games, and first for Australia, at PyeongChang.
Following the Sochi Games Jezersek began instructing at Perisher and after an eight month break from competition in 2016 she got her Australian citizenship.
She lined up in the green and gold in 2017 and became the first Australian cross country skier to record a top 30 finish at a World Championships after claiming 24th in the 15km Skiathlon.
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.
Born: Manly, NSW
In February 2016, Jess Rich placed 8th at the Snowboard Slopestyle PyeongChang Test Event and cemented herself as an athlete to watch heading into the next Winter Olympic Games.
The 27-year-old contested five World Cup events during the 2017 season. She cracked the top-10 twice in Quebec City, placing 9th in the Slopestyle event and 8th in the Big Air.
Rich ended the season ranked 22nd in the slopestyle and 36th in the Big Air events.
Born: Melbourne, VIC
Scotty James was the youngest male competitor at the Vancouver Winter Olympics when he made his debut in the Snowboard halfpipe aged 15, where he produced a fantastic performance to finish 21st.
After securing his first Crystal Globe as the top ranked Halfpipe athlete in 2014, James was the only Australian in the inaugural Olympic Snowboard Slopestyle competition at Sochi 2014. He just missed out on a place in the final, finishing eighth in the semi-final and 16th overall. In the Halfpipe, tough judging in his first run and an unfinished program in the second brought his Sochi Games to a premature end, placing 21st.
After taking out the halfpipe World Championships in 2015, James had the ‘perfect season’ in 2017. The 22-year-old successfully defended his World Championships crown at Sierra Nevada with an untouchable score of 97.50. He entered the Championships as the number one qualifier after winning the 2016/17 FIS Snowboard Halfpipe Crystal Globe.
On Australia Day 2017 James won the prestigious X Games gold medal after defeating legendary American snowboarder Shaun White. In an Australian first, James heads into PyeongChang 2018 wearing three of the four major world snowboard Halfpipe crowns, the fourth being Olympic glory. His history making season ended with James being awarded the Australian Snow sports Athlete of the year, jointly shared with Moguls World Champion Britt Cox.
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.
Born: North Sydney, NSW
After beginning in moguls and cross country skiing when she was 12, Jill Colebourn made the switch to biathlon and is now pushing for her Olympic debut.
At 18, in 2014, she won her first national open event and has now won the title three years running.
She became the first Australian female biathlete to finish an international top 30 mass start event when she competed at the 2017 Winter Universiade. Having started ranked 27th after earlier results, Colebourn went on to finish 23rd in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
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.
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.
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.