Snow Australia announces Athlete of the Year nominees for 2022

BEIJING, CHINA - February 06: Jakara Anthony of Australia celebrates her gold medal victory during the Snowboard Moguls Final for women at Genting Snow Park during the Winter Olympic Games on February 6th, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China. Photo by Tim Clayton for Snow Australia

It’s been a huge season for Aussie snowsports athletes with 26 FIS World Cup podiums and four Olympic and Paralympic medals, not to mention four Crystal Globes.

The Athlete of the Year nominees are chosen as the best in their discipline for the season and then compete for the overall Athlete of the Year Award.

Nominees were selected by the Snow Australia judging panel and the winner will be announced at the 2022 Snow Australia Awards on Thursday 28 April.

Alpine skiing

Louis Muhlen is nominated for alpine skiing off the back of his 23rd place in Giant Slalom at the Olympic Winter Games, a result which equalled Australia’s best ever Olympic Giant Slalom result set by Zali Steggall in 1992.

Ski Cross

Three-time Olympian Sami Kennedy-Sim is nominated for ski cross following her 8th place in ski cross at Beijing 2022, the second best result ever for an Australian ski cross athlete at the Olympic Games, behind Scott Kneller and Katya Crema’s 7th places at Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 respectively.

Nordic skiing

Former American Birkebeiner Champion Jessica Yeaton was once again the most successful Australian on the nordic skiing circuit, winning bronze in the Kincaid Park 10km Classic and producing some standout results in the World Cup and at the Olympic Games, including a 29th place in Val di Fiemme’s Tour de Ski Final Climb and a 16th place in the Team Sprint Classic event (with Casey Wright) at Beijing 2022.

Freestyle skiing

Women’s freestyle skiing has brought much success to Australia over the years, and last season was no different. In fact, Jakara Anthony had a record-breaking campaign – the most successful ever by an Australian snow sport athlete – which included 11 World Cup moguls podiums (with three golds) from 12 starts, two FIS Crystal Globes (moguls discipline and moguls overall) and an amazing Olympic title in Beijing, the first Australian gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games in 12 years.

Aerial skiing

Laura Peel of Australia during a Freestyle Aerials training session at the Genting Snow Park, during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, in Beijing, China, Saturday, February 12, 2022. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

On the aerials side, two-time World Champion Laura Peel followed up her brilliant 2020/21 season with another positive campaign, winning her seventh career World Cup event in Deer Valley, USA, with a near world record score on a full-full-full, triple twisting triple back somersault, making the Olympic Super Final in Beijing (fifth place) and ending the season with a third place overall on the World Cup Aerials standings.

Park and Pipe

Tess Coady of Australia competes in the Women’s Slopestyle Finals during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games at Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, China, Sunday, February 6, 2022. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

Tess Coady and Scotty James are once again the athletes nominated in the Park and Pipe disciplines.

Coady continued to impress on the slopestyle and big air circuit after a breakthrough 2020/21 season, triumphing in the slopestyle event at the prestigious LAAX Open. More importantly, she finally made her Olympic debut in Beijing, taking out a spectacular bronze medal in the Women’s slopestyle.

James established himself as one of the legends of the sport as he claimed silver in an epic Snowboard Halfpipe final in Beijing, becoming only the fifth Australian snow sport athlete to win two Olympic medals. James also keeps updating the history books of the X-Games Superpipe, which he won for the fourth time this year.

Snowboard Cross

Belle Brockhoff, Snowboard Cross athlete. Photo: AOC

In snowboard cross, 2021 Mixed Team World Champion Belle Brockhoff is nominated as she finished in fifth place overall for the SBX World Cup season, after claiming two podiums in Montafon (Austria) and Cervinia (ITA) and narrowly missing out on an Olympic medal with a fourth place in the SBX Big Final in Beijing.

Para Disciplines

Ben Tudhope AUS competing in the Para Snowboard Men’s Snowboard Cross SB-LL2 Qualification at the Genting Snow Park. Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games, Zhangjiakou, China, Sunday 06 March 2022. Photo: OIS/Chloe Knott. Handout image supplied by OIS/IOC

Ben Tudhope and Josh Hanlon are the two athletes nominated for the Athlete of the Year award in the para-disciplines.

It would be easy to forget that Ben Tudhope is only 22 years old as the para-snowboarder added yet two more Crystal Globes to his collection, claiming five wins on the World Cup circuit, two medals at the World Para Snow Sports Championships and his first Paralympic medal, a bronze in the Men’s Snowboard Cross SB-LL2, on his third Games participation.

Paralympic debutant Josh Hanlon is nominated in the para-alpine discipline. The 24-year-old Riverina athlete announced himself as a future star of Australian alpine skiing collecting multiple top-10 results in the World Para Snow Sports Championships and at Beijing 2022, in just his first year of FIS competition.

The finalists and the winners of the Snow Australia Athlete of the Year Awards in the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines will be announced during the Snow Australia Awards night on April 28, 2022.

In addition to the Athlete of the Year award, Snow Australia will also recognise the Junior Athlete of the Year and the Coaches of the Year (for Olympic and Paralympic Disciplines), and present for the second time the Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin award for the Outstanding Achievement of the Year, with all nominees to be announced in the coming days.

Retired elite athletes will also be recognised with Snow Australia Medal presentations.

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of 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.