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Abbott congratulates Australian skiers

28 January 2014

CROSS COUNTRY: The Australian Cross Country team has had a chance meeting with Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Davos, Switzerland.

On the day they were officially selected onto the 2014 Australian Olympic Team bound for Sochi last Thursday, Phillip Bellingham, Esther Bottomley, Aimee Watson and Callum Watson were personally congratulated by the Prime Minister.

“It was a unique experience,” Olympic debutant Aimee Watson said.

Abbott used the brief meeting to congratulate the foursome on their Olympic selection and wish them luck in Sochi.

“We found that he has downhill skied before and he finds it to be an ‘exhilarating’ sport,” Watson said.

“Phil (Bellingham) also asked how he was coping in the cold weather and he said that he was more of a warm weather person.”

Normally the Cross Country team would not be training in Davos during the World Economic Forum (WEF), but this year a Davos local hosted them.

Walter Ammann, the president of the Global Risk Forum, generously offered his apartment for this pre-Sochi training camp. Ammann heard that the Australian Prime Minister was in town for the WEF, and contacted the Prime Minister's delegation to arrange a meeting.

Davos was the ideal location for the pre-Sochi camp as it is slightly higher than Sochi and almost the same altitude as Falls Creek, the team's training base in Australia. Davos is also the home to the Swiss No.1 skier Dario Cologna and the training base of the Russian No.1 skier Alexander Legkov.

After his meeting with the Australian skiers, Abbott was off to give an address at the WEF and the athletes went back to training.

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