Wowee what a northern winter for Australian and New Zealand snowsport athletes!
While we’re sweating it out on the beaches, our athletes are carving notches into the northern snow and teaching our cricket team a thing or two about winning.
First up was Scott Kneller who became our first World Cup gold medallist in Skier X when he won in Italy before Christmas. Then there was Alex Chumpy Pullin who became our first World Champion boarder cross at the world championships in La Molina. Quickly followed by Rip Curl athlete Nate Johnstone and Holly Crawford who took out the male and female half pipe titles.
Meanwhile over in the US, pocket rocket Anna Segal podiumed second place in the slopestyle at The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series at Northstar Resort. The Winter X Games gold medallist will again be competing at the X Games in Aspen from January 27.
Still with Australia, Chris Booth came in fifth at the Red Bull Linecatcher big mountain event in France. He was one place behind USA’s Sage Cattabriga-Alosa and three above Canada’s JP Auclair. Check out Boothy’s interview here.
The godfather of skiing, Canadian Mike Douglas, has already picked Aussie Russ Henshaw as the ‘dark horse’ for the Aspen X Games next week and Russ proved him right qualifying first at The Dew Tour in Killington. The final is today so go Russ go!
Kiwi (but Aussie born) Janina Kuzma started her FWT season with a second place on the first stop at La Clusaz and is in Chamonix as we write for the second stop alongside sister snowboarder Maria Kuzma and big mountain Kiwi ski man Sam Smoothy. Watch this space…
Meanwhile another Kiwi, snowboarder Shelly Gotlieb, scored bronze with a third place slopestyle finish at the Snowboard World Championships in La Molina. Bex Sinclair of Wanaka on New Zealand’s South Island came fourth in the halfpipe at the same championships. A great result from the snowboarder who won the Junior World Championships in New Zealand last August.
The competition season is only just hotting up but already the southern hemisphere is dominating! Torah Bright is confirmed for the Winter X Games snowboard slopestyle, Holly Crawford and Torah are locked in for Superpipe, Russ and Anna are up there for skiing slopestyle and Russ will also strut his stuff in the Big Air. Kiwis representing at the X Games include Jossi Wells for ski slopestyle and Big Air and Jossi and brother Byron for ski superpipe.
The starting invite athlete list is constantly being updated so check here for your favourite athletes.