Cox and James share Aussie snow award
In the end Australia’s two best winter athletes just couldn’t be separated.
So it seemed only fitting that moguls skier Britt Cox and halfpipe snowboarder Scotty James shared the Australian Snowsports Athlete of the Year Award.
After breakthrough seasons in which both athletes became world best in their disciplines, moguls skier Cox and James were officially recognised for their efforts at the annual awards night in Melbourne
The pair led the way in the country’s best ever season for winter sport athletes in which 35 medals were won at a World Cup level.
A further five were won at the World Cup – where Cox and James both took gold.
Cox, 22, was immense over the course of the 2016/7 season.
She became Australia’s first female mogul skiing world champion and also claimed the Crystal Globe for moguls with seven gold and two bronze.
What made in particularly remarkable was that while she had competed at two Winter Olympics Cox, hadn’t taken out an even on the World Cup tour until this season. She has since dominated to the point of being a heavy favourite for Games gold in Pyeongchang.
Similarly James also had an incredible year, though perhaps to be fair not quite as dominant.
He became Australia’s first back-to-back snowboard halfpipe world champion, the World Cup Crystal Globe runner-up and Winter X Games gold medallist and Burton US Open silver medallist.
With less emphasis placed on the World Cups in halfpipe snowboarding, it is sometimes difficult to get a hold on who is the best of the best in the sport – at least until the top riders turn up for the likes of the X Games and Olympic Test events and qualifying.
And it’s where James shone birightest.
He beat American Shaun White, widely regarded as the world’s greatest ever halfpipe rider, at the X Games and test event for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“The spread of performances across so many of our snowsport disciplines and events is unprecedented and demonstrates the breadth and depth of our programs.” said CEO of Australian Skiing and Snowboarding Michael Kennedy said.
Alpine skier Mitch Gourley was named Para-Snowsport Athlete of the Year for a second year in a row, after another outstanding season that saw him win the Para World Championships for giant slalom, as well as the overall World Cup title.
Aerial skier, Lydia Lassila, took out the Outstanding Achievement Award having returned from a two-season break after having her second child to claim three World Cup victories.
The Junior Athlete of the Year was awarded to snowboard cross rider Adam Lambert.
Athlete of the Year
Britt Cox (moguls) and Scotty James (snowboard halfpipe)
Para Athlete of the Year
Mitch Gourley (alpine)
Junior Athlete of the Year
Adam Lambert (snowboard cross)
Tess Coady (snowboard freestyle)
Lydia Lassila (aerials)
Coach of the Year
Steve Desovich/Jerry Grossi (moguls)
Development Coach of the Year
Jason Clauscen (snowboard)
School of the Year
Snowy Mountains Grammar School and St. Catherine’s School
Outstanding Achievement of the Year for Small Schools