Aussie skiers and snowboarders up for AIS Sport Performance Awards

Scotty James
Scotty James of Australia competes in the Men's Halfpipe qualifiers at Phoenix Snow Park during the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, in PyeongChang, South Korea, Tuesday, February 13, 2018. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

The AIS Sport Performance Awards are the Oscars of Australia’s sporting world. The awards celebrate Australia’s high performance sport and this year we have a number of Aussie skiers and snowboarders nominated to win.

With a successful Winter Olympic campaign in PyeongChang earlier this year, Australia’s Winter Olympians and Paralympians are well represented with nominations in Male Athlete of the Year, Emerging Athlete of the Year, the Sport Australia Award and Para Performance of the Year.

The awards are held on December 13 when the winners will be announced.

Winter Paralympian, Joany Badenhorst, is up for the inaugural Sport Australia Award to celebrate sporting values. A gold medal favourite, Australian co-captain and team flagbearer, Joany crashed in her final training session, the resulting injuries ruling her out of competition.

Adding to the heartbreak, it was a repeat of the 2014 Sochi Paralympics. Rather than dwell on her own misfortune, the 23-year-old instead turned her focus to supporting the team. She issued a video message of support to Australian teammates and cheered them on throughout the Games.

Scotty James has been nominated alongside Simon Patmore for Male Athlete of the year.  In one of the most hotly contested Olympic finals in the Snowboard Halfpipe, James claimed bronze behind American legend Shaun White at PyeongCjhang. James also claimed silver medals at the X-Games and World Cup in Snowmass USA, named Australian flagbearer for the opening ceremony to the Winter Olympics.

Para-snowboarder Simon Patmore who is also up for Para Performance of the year etched his name into the history books in 2018, becoming the first Australian to medal at a Winter and Summer Paralympics.

Patmore became Australia’s first gold medallist at Winter Paralympics since 2002 when he took gold in the Men’s Snowboard Cross SB-UL at PyeongChang. Patmore also claimed a bronze medal at PyeongChang in the Men’s Banked Slalom SB-UL. His achievements were more remarkable given his switch from athletics, where he had claimed a bronze medal in the men’s 200m at the 2012 London Paralympics.

Mogul skier, Jakara Anthony, is up for Emerging Athtete of the Year. Anthony had a breakout season in 2017-18, her first full year on the World Cup circuit. Aged just 19 at the time, Anthony pushed her more experienced rivals to finish fourth at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. She also had top-five finish at the Deer Valley World Cup.

PyeongChang Chef de Mission, Ian Chesterman, has also been nominated for the Leadership Award. First appointed Chef de Mission of the Australian team for the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic Games, he has held the role for six consecutive Winter Olympics. Chesterman has also been appointed Chef de Mission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, surpassing the record of John Coates AC and Geoff Henke AO as a six-time Chef de Mission of an Australian Olympic Team.

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.

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