Australia’s alpine and cross country skiing members for Beijing have been announced this afternoon.
Six elite cross country skiers and four athletes will be making their way to China for competition with a mix of old and new.
In Cross Country, Phillip Bellingham equals the most Olympic appearances by an Australian cross country skier, and just the third athlete to be named to his third Olympic Team. Casey Wright and Jess Yeaton will compete at their second Games, while Lars Young Vik, Seve de Campo and Hugo Hinckfuss will make their Olympic debut.
Alpine skier Greta Small has been named for her third Games, behind only Zali Steggall (four) in Australian alpine Olympic appearances, and will contest the downhill, super-G and alpine combined events. Madison Hoffman, Louis Muhlen-Schulte and Katie Parker will make their debuts, all competing in both the slalom and giant slalom events.
The six-strong Cross Country team equals Pyeongchang for Australia’s largest Olympic contingent in the sport, with the athletes to compete at the National Cross Country Centre in the Zhangjiakou cluster, while the alpine skiers will fly down the course at Yanqing’s National Alpine Centre.
Thirty-year-old Phil Bellingham said making his third Olympics was a special moment.
“I’m really proud to be going around for a third time, I’m in really good shape and looking forward to some great results in Beijing,” Bellingham said.
“To be put alongside Anthony Evans and Esther Bottomley as the only triple Olympic cross country skiers for Australia is pretty amazing.
“This sport is so challenging but rewarding. You push your body to like pretty extreme limits, biomechanically cross country skiing is regarded as one of the toughest sports in the world. To combine the raw physical toughness out on snow and having that head to head racing with all the tactics that involves is fantastic.”