The Belle curve – Brockhoff carving out a sweet arc. Pic: Harald Benselin OWIA
While some of out best summer athletes prepare across the other side of the globe for the Olympics starting this week, there’s a whole bunch of winter ones on our own doorstep getting it done.
In case you didn’t know the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea are only 18 months away so I’ll be checking in with some of our top hopes over that time.
This week I chat with the feisty Belle Brockhoff – one of Australia’s best hopes in the snowboard cross.
A World Cup winner for the first time last season Belle looks to be timing her Games run to perfection. She was quite outspoken in the lead-up to Sochi where she was eighth – now she’s looking to let her snowboarding do much of the talking.
Matt Graham getting things done in Deer Valley. Pic: OWIA/Andrew Pattison
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.
Breakthrough win … Matt Graham took out the Deer Valley World Cup moguls event last month. Pic: OWIA/Andrew Pattison
- Matt Graham won his first World Cup moguls event at Deer Valley this season
- He has 5 World Cup podium finishes
- As a 19 year-old he was 7th in Sochi
- Graham is still good mates with Dale Begg-Smith, chatting often a few times a week with the Olympic gold and silver medallist about his technique.
As far as preparation for the 2015/16 winter went, Matt Graham’s couldn’t get much worse.
In a sport known for mangling meniscuses Graham instead decided it’d be more fun to injure himself falling off a fence a little over a metre high while collecting a volleyball in Park City, Utah back in June.
With a number of World Cup events on this weekend and just over two years out from the 2018 Games, The Snow Gauge caught up with Olympic Winter Institute boss Geoff Lipshut to discuss where the Australian athletes were at and what to expect this season. He also let us in on a very interesting update on the Perisher Superpipe …