The Australian aerial and ski cross ski teams have left Russia for western Europe today after the OWIA ordered the teams to leave in the midst of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The decision was made yesterday by the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia who fund and support Australia’s FIS World Cup and Olympic athletes.

The FIS World Cup events are being held in Sunny Valley, an area of Russia that had no travel warnings, hence the teams competing, however once Putin invaded Ukraine that decision was reneged promptly.

Olympic skier x athlete Sami Kennedy Sim and her crew were booked on an early morning flight out of Russia today. Kennedy-Sim, who finished 8th at the Winter Olympics, was originally on a flight that had been chartered by the FIS World Cup tour out of Beijing to Russia for ski cross athletes. She was then rebooked onto a commercial flight out of Moscow in order to leave.

Olympic Winter Institute of Australia CEO and Beijing Winter Olympic Team Australia Chef de Mission, Geoff Lipshut, revealed to SnowsBest today that both Peel and Scott had left straight for Russia from Beijing for the FIS World Cup event. The team had been in Russia training before the competition scheduled for tomorrow.

The aerial skiers were informed they would not be competing and would be leaving with their coaches and support team on an 11.10am (local time) flight that departed at 7.10pm AEDT time tonight.

Australian Winter Olympian, aerial skier, Danielle Scott, tweeted that the “decision to leave Russia” had been made.

The Australian Prime Minister then tweeted in response to Scott’s tweet.

It was a tense few hours for the aerial team who were in ground transit to Moscow, especially once the Australian Prime Minister brought Scott’s tweet to international attention while his compatriots had yet to leave Russia.

When asked earlier today about the Prime Minister’s attention Lipshut said, “the athletes should now just concentrate on getting out of Russia, get back to safety in Frankfurt and Munich then reassess.”

All Australian athletes have now departed Russia within the last hour.

The team had been training in Sunny Valley where the last World Cup of the season would be held.

“We traditionally support athletes competing in the final FIS World Cup events of the season straight after an Olympics if there is a good chance they could take out the Crystal Globe,” said Lipshut.

“Both Laura and Dani were contenders to do that, especially with China out of competition due to their more rigid isolation rules for athletes upon return to their country.”

Peel is currently number three and Scott number four in the world on the FIS World Cup circuit.

With all the competing countries pulling their athletes out and back home a mere six of 61 men and seven of 24 skier cross women competed in qualifications today, each of them from Russia.

FIS has since cancelled the World Cups in Russia.

FIS cancel Russia World Cups, Kennedy-Sim pulls out of season