Australia’s aerial and mogul skiing team for Beijing announced

Aerial skier Laura Peel. Photo: AOC|OWIA

Another 11 members of the official athlete team for Australia for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games have been announced.

Eight mogul skiers and three aerial skiers will be making their way to China to compete on the world stage in the green and gold.

Reigning world champion Laura Peel and multiple World Cup medallist Danielle Scott will both compete in their third Games, with Gabi Ash making her Olympic debut in aerial skiing.

Achieving the maximum possible quota of four men and four women in moguls, the team boasts a wealth of experience. Britt Cox enters rare air as just the second mogul athlete to be selected for her fourth Olympic Team.

Jakara Anthony and Taylah O’Neill will compete at their second Games, while Sophie Ash makes it an Ash family double, selected for her Olympic debut alongside sister Gabi.

Reigning silver medallist Matt Graham and Brodie Summers both return for their third Olympics, James Matheson will contest his second Games with Cooper Woods to make his Olympic debut.

Both moguls and aerials teams have had a formidable build up to the Games. Laura Peel and Danielle Scott currently sit third and fourth in the World Cup rankings, with Peel landing one of the highest scoring jumps in women’s aerials history to win the Deer Valley World Cup in mid-January.

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Jakara Anthony has had a blistering season, claiming eight podiums and entering the Games ranked third in the world in single moguls event, with Summers and Woods both making World Cup Super Finals in the past fortnight.

Matt Graham has made a remarkable recovery from a broken collarbone suffered in December, to defend his silver medal won in Pyeongchang. Taylah O’Neill is showing extraordinary resilience, passing her fitness clearance to compete just weeks after a serious knee injury

“Congratulations to all eleven athletes named for moguls and aerials,” said Chef de Mission Geoff Lipshut.

“They have performed at the highest level throughout this World Cup season and I know Australians will be cheering them on in just a few short weeks. To achieve the maximum qualification of eight athletes in moguls shows the tremendous depth of talent in the program.

“A special congratulations to Britt, from making her debut as a 15-year-old in Vancouver to making history as the first female Australian mogul skier to compete at four Olympics, Britt has been an amazing athlete and ambassador for winter sport.”

2017 World Champion and already triple Olympian Britt Cox said the buzz of making an Olympic Team has never diminished.

“I remember this moment 12 years ago now, when I qualified for my first Games in Vancouver 2010 and honestly, I have the same amount of excitement and pride to represent Australia as I did back then,” Cox said.

“I can’t help but just think about how much I’ve learned and grown as a person in the that 12 years. Looking back, I remember how inspired and motivated I was to become the best possible skier that that I could be and I’m just grateful for the journey.

“To even have the opportunity to be competing at these Olympics is really special given the past 18 months. I really hope that we can do something that makes Australia excited. I hope we can inspire people and show stories of resilience and determination because I think that’s what the world needs to see right now.”

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Jakara Anthony said she’s keen to show how much she has grown as an athlete since her debut in Pyeongchang 2018.

“I really enjoyed my Pyeongchang experience, and I’ve done a lot of learning and I’m a much more mature athlete and person now,” Anthony said.

“I’ve got a whole new skill set that I can take into Beijing with me, and I’m excited to see what I can do with that. This World Cup season has been really great for me, I’ve been able to incorporate a new cork 720 mute jump on the top air and I’ve been able to sort out all the different parts of my runs and get it all together in one go.”

The Moguls competition will run from 3-6 February and women’s Aerials from 13-14 February, in Genting Snow Park.

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.