Who are Australia’s greatest-ever winter athletes? With the Winter Olympics one month away I thought I’d pose what is a difficult question.
How do you compare snowboarders to skiers and those who survived off the sniff of a panini in the 80s to millionaire athletes of the most recent generation?
Well, I’m going to give it a go. The results won’t please everyone but having been to four Games and seen most of them first hand I’m going to rate them from 10 to 1. Drum roll please …
With the Charlotte Pass lease set to expire at the end of this month and no official word on what was happening – I thought it was time for a bit of an update.
Our source close to the situation says that instead of a long-term lease being granted at this stage, a six-month one would be put in place.
There was no time to swerve, no time to hit the brakes and no time to think.
At speeds tipping 110 km/hr there was also no way around this being anything but very very ugly.
I barely saw it, but what I did see of it was ENORMOUS.
Then I hit it.
If you want to know what Scotty James has been up to this past six months, even he says it’s best not to look at his social media.
There’s Barcelona, boxing poses and a boat in Miami that could be straight from The Lonely Island film clip.
“My Instagram probably says otherwise – that I have been having a good time but I have been working really hard,” he says with a chuckle.
It’s rarer than a Melbourne premiership, a Wallabies win over the All Blacks and a funny Adam Sandler movie.
Don’t know what I am talking about? It’s a three-metre base of snow in Australia – something that hasn’t happened in a quarter of a century.
But, if the stars and Snow Gods align, it just might do it this season.
In the first of a series of interviews leading up to the Winter Olympics, starting on February 9, The Snow Gauge chats to moguls skier Matt Graham and talks about his rivalry with Canadian great Mikael Kingsbury.
Just how do you dethrone the king?
It’s a question that has been on the mind of Australian moguls champion Matt Graham for some time.
While Graham will head to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February as one his country’s best medal prospects, there’s royalty in his way.
It comes in the form of Canadian Mikael Kingsbury, a six-time World Cup champion who, quite simply, is the best the sport has seen.
It’s the size of a resort but doesn’t have a chairlift.
There’s untracked powder as far as the eye can see. There’s cruisey wide-open bowls, chutes or hits for the adventurous. There’s an extraordinary lunch served in amazing surrounds. There’s a dozen of you but probably less. There’s no pressure.
It’s Soho Basin in New Zealand, and I suggest you get there before the word gets out.
It’s a work in progress but with Perisher dropping out of building a Superpipe in Australia, there’s some decent prospects of Falls Creek filling the void.
And who is behind the push? None other than our own Scotty James.
The X Games and two-time world champion is working with his own sponsors (including Falls Creek) to try to make it happen.
If you’ve skied or snowboarded in Australia or New Zealand there’s quite a chance the “c” word fills you with a degree of dread.
It sounds like you’ll be shackled or tortured. Or at least your car will.
But are they to be feared? Are they overused? Or are they simply something that will save your car – or potentially your life?
From passes, to good lifties and getting skis stolen (err mistakenly taken), this is what I learnt on my first trip to the snow this season.