Matt Graham wins Winter Olympic silver
12 February 2018
MOGULS: Matt Graham has put down one of the best runs of his life to win Winter Olympic silver in the men's moguls at Phoenix Snow Park tonight.
Becoming the 11th Australian to win a Winter Olympic medal, Graham saved his best run for last scoring 82.57 to put him in first place with three skiers to come.
Only one would better his score and it was the overwhelming favourite for top spot on the podium, Mikael Kingsbury.
The all-conquering Canadian pulled off a near flawless run scoring 86.63 to take home the gold. Japan's Daichi Hara won bronze with a run of 82.19.
Graham was undoubtedly ecstatic with the result.
"It's pretty awesome," Graham said.
"I'm over the moon, it still hasn't sunk in but I can't wait to celebrate.
"It was amazing putting down that final run which was my best run of the night. I knew when I saw the score I was going to be on the podium.
“I came out today and, actually the first training session before the qualification session didn’t exactly go as I would’ve liked, maybe I just felt a little bit stiff and then went inside, took a breather and came out firing.
“I was just having fun and when I’m having fun I’m skiing the best.”
Graham said the support in the crowd meant so much.
“It’s amazing, my teammate Jimmy they’re his brother and his best mates and they’re mine too so it’s amazing having all those guys out, all the families, my family in particular and, you know, my three friends here and my girlfriend — it’s really amazing to have them all here and I’m just really happy," Graham said.
“And my grandparents too, besides mum and dad they’re a very close second to my biggest supporters and it means the world to me to have them here and I can’t wait to hug them and celebrate later."
Kingsbury has now won it all in the sport and despite his lofty status he still had time for some kind words for his good mate Graham.
"I'm yet to see his run but Matt is so consistent and so precise in everything he does - he is one of the toughest competitors I have," Kingsbury said.
"I always want him to do well but I want to do a little better."
Competing at his second Games, Graham earlier moved into the Super Final with a score of 80.01 to progress as the fourth highest ranked runner.
Prior to that he put down a superb run in Final 1 to score 81.39 to claim second and easily progress from the top 20 into the top 12.
Olympic rookie James Matheson finished just outside the cutoff in Final 1 placing 14th with a score of 75.98.
“Coming out here today I basically had nothing to lose, it was just to come out here and do my best run without any place in mind," Matheson said.
"I was just focused on the simple things and that ended up getting me my second best result ever to date.
“Overall I’m really happy with it and to narrowly scrape on the next final was just the cherry on top and also seeing my friends with their shirts off was pretty funny,”
Teammate Rohan Chapman-Davies didn’t better his run from Friday night in Qualification 2, and recorded a best score of 73.96, finishing in 22nd place overall.
Unfortunately, after completing an on snow assessment, it was decided that Brodie Summers would not line up for the event.
Summers flared up his ACL knee injury at training before the first run on Friday and was not showing great mobility tonight so chose not to risk further injury.
Matt Bartolo/Georgia Thompson