SSA National Free Ski Team Announced
Ski & Snowboard Australia (SSA) is delighted to formally announce its newest National team – The National Free Ski Team. The SSA National Free Ski Team has representative athletes from both newly announced Winter Olympic sports - ski halfpipe and ski slopestyle.
Australian athletes have consistently performed at the highest level in slopestyle pro events over the past few years, with Russ Henshaw, 21, from Jindabyne gaining a silver medal at the Aspen X games, while also managing a bronze medal at the FIS World Championships in Deer Valley in February. Anna Segal, 24 and from Melbourne, is the current FIS World Champion in ski slopestyle, and was the first female to win X Games gold in slopestyle in 2008. Dane Tudor is another talented free ski athlete, who has set his sights on Sochi 2014 after narrowly missing the 10 man final at the FIS World Championships in Deer Valley last season.
The team is also well represented in Halfpipe with the return of Davina Williams (past World Cup medal winner) and NZ Winter Games medallist Amy Sheehan.
The inaugural free ski national Team has been selected by the SSA Freestyle committee with input from industry experts and riders. By selecting and announcing such a high calibre National Free Ski Team, SSA has set a standard of performance at the top of the pathway for which other Australian athletes need to aim for.
Some of the benefits for National Team athletes will include; Access to the SSA Strength and Conditioning/ Acrobatics Coach; invitation to attend SSA Training Camps (some of which will be run specifically for National Free Ski Team members); SSA will coordinate and apply for funding/grants on behalf of athletes (as appropriate); the opportunity to be considered for individual SIS/SAS Scholarships (ie. NSWIS/ VIS) and entry to events required for Olympic Qualification.
Olympic inclusion puts free ski athletes on the same page as the other existing SSA disciplines in terms of accessing sport system support and services. Russ Henshaw and Anna Segal are already enjoying the same level of individual athlete support as some of our other winter sport champions, such as Lydia Lassila, Torah Bright and Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, through the Australian Sports Commission’s, Direct Athlete Support (DAS) funding scheme and the Australian Olympic Committees adidas Medal Incentive scheme. The pair have also been awarded individual scholarships through NSWIS (Henshaw) and VIS (Segal), which will allow them to access a variety of athlete services.
The 2011/2012 National Free Ski Team is as follows:
- Russ Henshaw (Slopestyle)
- Dane Tudor(Slopestyle)
- Anna Segal (Slopestyle)
- Davina Williams (Halfpipe)
- Amy Sheehan (Halfpipe)