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PyeongChang stars take top honours

4 May 2018

WINTER SPORTS: Australia’s elite ski and snowboard athletes have gathered in Melbourne to recognise the best achievements from 2017-2018 season.

Australia’s top performers at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games were recognised for their outstanding results during the season.

Among the winners were Olympic silver medallists Matt Graham and Jarryd Hughes who jointly took home the prestigious Athlete of the Year Award, with Paralympic gold and bronze medallist Simon Patmore being recognised as the Athlete of the Year (Paralympic disciplines).

Ski and Snowboard Australia CEO Michael Kennedy said the 2017-2018 season was a stand out for Australia’s top snow sport athletes, with many worthy nominees and winners.

“The athletes along with their coaches and support teams, have done a fantastic job across the domestic and international season, capped off with the amazing performances in PyeongChang.

“The multi medal performances at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games combined with the outstanding way our athletes presented themselves in the media is a credit to them and their programs.  The Australian public are becoming increasingly aware of how competitive we are as a Nation on the international stage. There is an increasing expectation of success which can only be a good thing.

“The performances recognised at the Australian Ski and Snowboard awards symbolise both our current success and the fantastic prospects we have into the future,” he said.

AWARD WINNERS

SNOWSPORT ATHLETE OF THE YEAR (Olympic Disciplines)

Winners: Matt Graham and Jarryd Hughes

Matt Graham: Dual Olympian and New South Wales Institute of Sport athlete, Graham improved on his seventh place in the men’s moguls at Sochi 2014 with a silver medal at PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games. On top of his 2018 Olympics success, Graham also consistently won on the World Cup Circuit placing third on three occasions and second once.   Graham has previously won this award in 2016.

Jarryd Hughes: Dual Olympian and New South Wales Institute of Sport athlete, Hughes delivered an impressive performance in the Snowboard Cross final at the 2018 Winter Olympics to claim a silver medal.  His inspirational medal performance also saw him lead the Australian team out in the Closing Ceremony as the flag bearer.  In 2014, Hughes was awarded Boardercross Athlete of the Year.

SNOWSPORT ATHLETE OF THE YEAR (Paralympic Disciplines)

Winner: Simon Patmore

Following his bronze medal in athletics at the 2012 Paralympic Summer Games, Patmore became the sixth Australian to compete at the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games.  In his first Paralympic Winter Games, Simon Patmore stole the show to break Australia’s 16 year gold medal drought when he won the snowboard cross at the PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games.  He backed up his gold medal performance with a bronze medal in the banked slalom.  Patmore has previously Para-Snowboard Athlete of the Year in 2016.

JUNIOR SNOWSPORT ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Winner: Jakara Anthony

Making her Olympic Games debut at 19-years-old Jakara Anthony had an outstanding first outing in the Olympics arena and claimed fourth position in the women’s moguls. It was an impressive first Olympic Games for the youngster, who has shown she is one to watch for the future.   She has earlier in the year at the Deer Valley World Cup, made her first 6-skier Super Final and secured fifth place overall.

RISING STAR

Winner – Valentino Guseli

It was another impressive season for junior Valentino Guseli, he has confirmed he is a name to watch out for in the future. At the US Open men’s halfpipe qualifying within the top 30 of the senior men’s competition where he placed 22nd in the field of 30 as a 12-year-old.  At the same event, Valentino competed in the Junior Jam category and placed second overall.

For the fourth year in a row Valentino was first overall in his age group, in the 12/13 category this season at the USA SA Nationals with two gold, two silver and a bronze medal.

COACH OF THE YEAR (Olympic Disciplines)

Winner – Steve Desovich

Steve Desovich was instrumental in Matt Graham’s silver medal performance at PyeongChang 2018 and was key in the mogul program medalling six times in the 2018 season.  This is Desovich’s eighth time he has won Coach of the Year.

COACH OF THE YEAR (Paralympic Disciplines)  

Winner – Lukas Prem

As Head Coach of the 2018 Paralympic Para-Snowboard team, Prem contributed to Simon Patmore’s gold and bronze medal performance as well as Ben Tudhope and Sean Pollard’s PyeongChang Paralympic Games.  

DEVELOPMENT COACH OF THE YEAR

Winner: Peter McNiel

Peter is responsible for training the 2018 Junior Snowsport Athlete of the Year award winner Jakara Anthony to fourth place in women’s moguls at PyeongChang2018 as well as her fifth place in the Deer Valley World Cup event.  This is the third time McNiel has won Development Coach of the Year, last winning it in 2015.

Ski and Snowboard Awards

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