Aussies winter athletes on a roll this winter

Australia’s winter athletes are on a roll this season, especially the snowboarders – Scotty James unbeatable in Pipe from X-Games to World Cups, Belle Brockhoff doing a top-to-bottom podium series in World Cup Boardercross, and Tess Coady nailing a first ever Slopestyle World Cup gold among the highlights.

Our Guest Commentator Aerial’s star Danielle Scott has the update on a northern snow season that’s given all of us suffering the worst bushfire season ever back home a huge boost.

What more does the season hold? Belle Brockhoff on top at Big White World Cup © FIS Snowboarding

We’ve been facing a dry and harsh summer down under but as the snow falls further north, Australia’s winter athletes are on a mission for success. 

The season kicked off for many in October with pre-season training on Switzerland’s glaciers. The glaciers provide an advantageous location for athletes from around the globe to begin their season early, in hopes of a competitive edge. It’s an incredibly scenic location and with all the disciplines sectioned off to their tracks and sites, it’s like an extreme video game from afar! The weather, however, controls the glacier. Competition mode for these athletes starts the moment the lifts open. Everybody, and I mean, everybody from 5-year olds to the best of the best, want to get their sessions done in case the glacier is suddenly closed so the journey up can be painstakingly long.

Once pre-season training is completed, the athletes shoot off to various locations around the world to compete in a couple of events before Christmas. A quick break is taken over the New Year and then the Northern Hemisphere tour continues until roughly April. 

Scotty James winning run Laaz World Cup half pipe January 2020
How good is Scotty James? Best ever .. on his way to 9th victory in a row at Laax © FIS Snowboarding

It has been an impressive start to the 2019/2020 season with multiple Aussies on the podium. Scotty James has continued his winning streak with three World Cup gold medals in Snowboard Halfpipe and X-Games.

Ben Tudhope claimed gold in both men’s SB-LL Para Snowboard World Cups. 

Spray time again for Scotty James at Laax © FIS snowboarding

The women are leading the pack with Mogul Skier Britt Cox and Aerial Skier Laura Peel claiming Bronze in their World Cup season openers whilst Tess Coady has won Australia’s first ever World Cup gold in Snowboard Slopestyle. 

Tess Coady on the rails during her World Cup victory
Tess Coady en route to her first ever slopestyle World Cup gold at Seiser Alm © FIS Snowboarding

Belle Brockhoff has had a remarkable return from injury with three podiums stepping up a notch each time to take the win in the second World Cup at Big White (on Australia Day!) and teammate Cam Bolton took home a silver.

There’s a pretty awesome feeling when you’re on tour preparing for your event and other Aussie’s are landing on the podium! The camaraderie and inspiration is pretty special when you’re so far away from home.

With the World Cup season having only just begun, sights will not only be set on the Overall World Cup Ranking once the tour is completed, but also future event preparations. The World Championships will be held next year alongside the start of Olympic qualifying events for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

Tess Coady on top of podium at Seiser Alm Slopestyle World Cup
Tess Coady on top of the World at Seiser Alm in January © FIS Snowboarding

It is an important time for athletes to build on their preparations by gaining experience, trialling strategies, and perfecting new tricks/techniques.

Ones to watch and those who recently medalled at the 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games include Jindabyne teenager Josie Baff taking Gold at the Youth Olympics in Boardercross and Ice Hockey players Courtney Mahoney, Nikki Sharp and Sai Lake. 

It’s an exciting time for Aussies in winter sports with many more thrilling things to come. Let’s see if Scotty James can continue his winning streak and if the Aussie women can continue to dominate. Winter sports are adrenaline-fuelled so hold on tight, sit back and get ready for more action!

Australia’s Top Ten World Cup 2020 results so far:

Mogul Skiing:

Britt Cox – 3rd, 7th

Claudia Gueli – 6th

Jakara Anthony – 5th, 9th, 4th, 4th, 4th

Matt Graham – 9th, 8th, 4th, 5th, 6th

Brodie Summers – 5th, 7th

Aerial Skiing:

Laura Peel – 3rd, 4th

Snowboard halfpipe:

Scotty James – 1st, 1st, 1st

Snowboard Cross:

Belle Brockhoff – 3rd, 2nd, 1st

Cam Bolton – 2nd, 5th (That’s Cam getting some downtime in Canada between events above)

Jarryd Hughes – 7th

Snowboard Slopestyle:

Tess Coady – 1st

Ski Cross:

Sami Kennedy-Sim – 10th, 7th, 6th

Snowboard Big Air:

Matt Cox – 10th

Para Snowboard:

Ben Tudhope – 1st, 1st

Para Alpine:

Patrick Jensen and guide Amelia Hodgson – 3rd, 3rd, 3rd

Belle Brockhoff shows the boxing kanagaroo flag on the podium at Big White World Cup Boarder Cross
Belle Brockhoff timed her win to perfection – Australia Day at Big White © FIS Snowboarding