World Cup runner-up wins top ski award
After a breakthrough season in which he took out his first World Cup event and finished second overall in the World Cup, Matt Graham has won the 2016 Ski and Snowboard Australia Athlete of the Year award.
Graham, who came seventh at the Sochi Winter Olympics, will be one of the names to watch at Pyeongchang in February 2018.
Despite a broken arm (read the full Matt Graham story here) sustained before the Australian winter of 2015 putting a serious dent in his preparations for the northern hemisphere winter, Graham had an ultra-consistent year in which he claimed two other podiums in (singles) moguls and never finished lower than fifth.
The highlight was topping the podium at the World Cup meet in Deer Valley, Utah.
A typically humble Graham posted on Instagram:
Graham edged out aerial skier Danielle Scott, who also finished second overall in the World Cup, and snowboard cross athlete Belle Brockhoff who completed the season in third place.
Brockhoff too had a breakthrough 2015/16 where she also claimed a first World Cup event when she won in Baqueira Beret, Spain alongside Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin to make it an Aussie double.
Alpine Skier Mitch Gourley was named Para-Snowsport Athlete of the Year after an outstanding season that saw him achieve nine World Cup podium finishes and third on the World Cup standings overall.
The snowboard cross team took out the Outstanding Achievement award after a season that saw them take home three World Cup Gold medals, as well as three silver and one bronze.
Three different Australian Snowboard Cross athletes won at World Cup and X-Games, and Aussie athletes took home gold in the Men’s and Women’s event at the same World Cup event for the first time.
Halfipe rider Emily Arthur took out the Junior Athlete of the Year award.
Arthur had taken out silver in the halfpipe at the Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Other award recipients named at the gala function in Melbourne were:
· Rising Star – Madison Hoffman (Alpine)
· Coach of the Year – Ben Wordsworth & Harald Benselin (Snowboard Cross)
· Development Coach of the Year – Christoph Maier (Alpine)
· Snowsports School of the Year – Jindabyne Central School
· Outstanding Achievement of the Year for Small Schools – Wenona
– with Rick Fontyn OWI