Australia snow sports athletes have long punched above their weight on the world competition circuit. We’re regularly on the podium on the FIS World Cup for boarder cross, aerials, halfpipe, slopestyle, moguls and more.
The world knows Torah Bright and Scotty James and their X Games and Olympic winning ways but few know our big mountain skiing and snowboarding history.
But it’s been a long time since an Aussie snowboarder has qualified for the pinnacle of extreme big mountain skiing and snowboarding.
One Aussie snowboarder from Newcastle is hoping to make a big impact this season after securing herself as one of six women announced in the athlete roster for The Freeride World Tour 2020 extreme big mountain competition.
Michaela Davis Meehan secured her spot after slogging it out last season on the Freeride World Qualifiers (think of it as the Europa Cup to the FIS World Cup or the FIS to the Olympics) last season with multiple podiums including a first place at Montafon. She then finished the season as FWQ champion and a place on the FWT this coming northern season.
The FWT20 athlete line up was announced this week and Davis Meehan will battle it out with two times FWT champ, Marion Haerty from France, veterans Manuela Mandl from Austria and Anna Orlova from Russia and fellow rookie Michelle Locke from Canada.
It’s been some time between FWT snowboard drinks for Australia. Maria Kuzma may have been born in Australia (and her FWT ski sister Janina) but she rode for New Zealand during her FWT time. Natalie Segal competed for Australia but in the ski category.
Amber Schuecker from Tasmania is believed to be the only Australian snowboard female on the Freeride World Tour prior to Davis Meehan. She competed back in 2014 and scored herself a silver podium in Chamonix and a bronze in Austria during the FWT season.
Now it’s Davis Meehan’s turn and she is more than fired up and determined to make her mark heading into the northern winter with new sponsors under her belt including The North Face.
Watch this space.
Official Athlete lineup
You’ll find the full FWT20 athlete lineup here – 49 of the world’s best in four categories – 11 Ski Women, 23 Ski Men, 6 Snowboard Women and 9 Snowboard Men. Including Kiwi skiers Jess Hotter, Craig Murray, Sam Lee and Hank Bilous.