- Category: Ski & Snowboard
How did you become involved in your sport?
When I was accepted into the Australian Aerial Ski team I had only ever seen snow once. I was a gymnasts for 10 years and due to injury I retired. I knew previous gymnasts who had transferred into Aerial skiing and decided to apply for the program. I was accepted in 2008 and began learning to ski in Mt Buller, Melbourne.
Who is your sporting hero?
At the moment I aspire to train, jump and compete like a Chinese Aerial Skier and two time silver Olympic medalist, Nina Li. Although Nina Li only performs on the double, her form and consistency is near perfect!!
Age you started in your sport?
In 2008 at 16, I began learning to ski in the Australian Aerial Ski Development Team. I spent two years perfecting my skiing technique and began jumping on water in 2010. However I began Aerial Skiing in December 2010 at age 19.
Height, weight, age?
Height - 165 cm
Weight - 58 kg
Age - 20
What is it about your sport that you love?
I love the chase of perfection, always trying to better the previous jump. I also love the sportsmanship between athletes and coaches from different countries in Aerial Skiing. Everyone understands the hard training schedules and competition season demands and regardless of where your from or who your competing against everyone does there best to make sure you get what you need to perform your best.
What motivated you to start your sport?
After I retired from gymnastics I was looking for a new sport to dig my teeth into. Aerial Skiing just sort of came along and I thought 'what have I got to lose'.
What is your current business/job?
Being and Aerial Skier I need to be a full-time athlete. I spend 10 months of the year away from home so regular employment opportunities are hard to come by. I have just started casual work at both Macquarie University and Sydney Academy of Gymnastics as a gymnastics coach for the few months of the year I am home.
Where is your favourite Ski Slopes?
As an Aerial Skier the amount of skiing we do is limited. When I just go for a ski I love skiing at Sowbasin Resort in Utah. My favorite venue to compete in so far is Deer Valley, Utah. The crowd and atmosphere for the World Cup events is unbelievable, no other venue puts on an event like Deer Valley.
People that have inspired you both in sport and life?
I read an autobiography of a two time Olympic Gold beach volleyball medalist, Misty May Treanor and I loved it. I'm not really sure why but her book inspired me to be better. Often I will find myself thinking 'what would Misty do?'.
And of course my family inspires and motivates me to be the best I can be simply by believing whole heartedly that I can be the best!!
Great experiences that have happened in your life?
Being a part of the World Cup circuit this year. It sounds silly but I also got a private tour of the Cirque Du Soleil headquarters in Montreal earlier this year and it was the most amazing and impressive place I have ever seen, I will never stop dreaming about one training there one day!
Your interests and hobbies?
Besides training, I love physical culture. It is almost dancing. I have done physie since I was 5 and still love doing competitions and going to class when my training schedule permits. I also love most ball sports. We play a lot during our summer training period for cardio workout, especially touch football and frisbee.
One tip or quote that continues to inspire you?
Take care of the details. On the World Cup circuit in Aerial Skiing every athlete is very talented. Being talented alone wont get you a gold medal. You need to take care of the small details in order to be the best.
Family Background(where did you grow up) and Current Family
I was born in Australia and have lived in Penrith my whole life with my mum, dad and sister (and my cat Pumpkin and my sisters dog Bella). My dad has 3 sisters and 6 brothers so my extended family is huge. I have 30+ cousins.
What is your happiest memory?
I don't really have one happiest memory but I do love the time spent with my family!
Who did you idolize growing up?
As a young gymnasts I always looked up to a gymnasts on the Australian national team, Trudy Macintosh. She eventually finished gymnastics and became a member of the Australian Aerial Ski team. When I started Aerial skiing I was fascinated by the best in our country and the world at the time, Jacquie Cooper and Lydia Lassila.
Were you always one of the better athletes growing up?
In general, I was good at most sports I played. Netball, Touch Football, Physical Culture, Athletics. I was a talented athlete but at age 12 I dedicated all of my time to gymnastics. I did however manage to make the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges Touch Football team in years 10, 11 and 12 without having played Touch Football outside of school.
What is one thing you would share with the children wanting to follow in your footsteps?
In Australia at the moment, the Aerial Ski team only recruits retired gymnasts. My advice is to simply give it a go. If you have the courage to try, then you have the courage to succeed!!
How has being involved/playing your sport changed your life?
Being so heavily involved in sports growing up meant I was kept out of trouble and became quite grounded. Growing up it meant I had quite a different life to most of my friends who would go shopping after school or go to parties on Friday nights. I never felt like I missed out though, I loved being constantly busy and working hard. Now, Aerial Skiing has changed my whole life plan. I am now trying to complete University online as apposed to attending classes and as a 20 year old I have never had a real job. Fact of the matter is, I probably wont ever have one until I am 30 years old and have finished training!! :)
Who has been your biggest supporter?
My Mum. Growing up, it took an hour each way for me to get to training. Without complaint my mum drove 2 hours everyday, and watched me train for 3 hours everyday, 5 days a week. In total my mum dedicated 25 hours a week of her time for 10 years to ensure I had the best training. This year my mum travelled around the World to make sure she was there to watch me compete in my first ever World Cup event!!
Who has been your best coach?
I have had two coaches in my life who have been simply amazing! Skye Benson, my gymnastics coach. Skye was my gymnastics coach since I was 9 years old. Skye put her life on hold to help me be the best gymnasts I could be, even though some times I didn't make it easy. After my retirement I continued to work with Skye as a coach and still today I consider her one of my greatest friends. Skye is some what responsible for who I am today, which I like to think is a good thing!! Secondly, Cord Spero. Cord has only been my Aerial Skiing coach for 2 years and already I would die without him. He is the most technically correct coach I have ever had and together we work towards perfection. Basically living with Cord for 10 months of the year, he knows when your in a bad mood and how to work with it. He knows when to push you harder and when it is time to rest. Cord even knows when I have bought new clothes!! Cord Spero probably knows me better than I know myself and has complete faith in my ability to perform and I love him for that!!
Goodness, where to start. Growing up I played tennis, swimming, little athletics, netball, and soccer. I had to dedicate all my time to gymnastics when I was 12. I kept playing Touch Football and Physical Culture all through my gymnastics days and even now I still love doing all three of these sports!!
Favourite Foods/Diet you follow?
I don't follow a diet I just try to eat healthy food which will give me enough energy to get through a training day! My favourite foods would have to be chicken. I do LOVE lollies though!!
Your typical training split and favourite thing to train?
I like games. Often during summer training instead of spinning on the bike or the cross trainer we will play a game of frisbee or touch football. I love it!!
Worst injury you have suffered?
Touch wood, I haven't really had a bad injury yet. I think the worst injury I have had was a stress fracture in my shin when I did gymnastics.
What is the ultimate prize in your sport?
I think the ultimate prize in Aerial Skiing, as in most sports, is an Olympic Gold medal. The World Championships is another big event and winning the Grand prix is also a great achievement.
What do you find to be the toughest aspect of your sport?
I think there are two difficult sides the Aerials. The first being the travel. Spending 10 months of the year away from home makes it difficult to have a life outside of skiing. The second being that Aerials can get quite monotonous. We do up to 50 jumps of the same trick each day, picking it apart and trying to improve it.
What is your favourite movie?
I love most sporting movies like Cool Runnings and Miracle on Ice. I also love those ridiculously funny movies like The Hang Over and Step Brothers. Otherwise I would have to say the Parent Trap, because I looked like Lindsay Lohan growing up and in the movie their birthday is only one day before mine!
How do you deal with temptation?
Generally I don't. If I want something I let myself have it. Otherwise I plan a specific time/date that I can have whatever it is I want.
What is your favourite music/band/song?
At the moment my favourite song is 'We Are Young' by FUN.
What is your biggest fear?
I am afraid of the dark.
Do you believe "never giving up" is the difference between making it and not making it in any sport?
Not really.... Just wanting something isn't enough most of the time. More so I think hard work in every aspect of your sport, both on and off the competition (mental training, diet, etc) is the difference between making it or not. I do believe you can be very good with a never give up attitude but it takes more than that to be the best!
Have you ever failed at anything? If yes how did you overcome this?
Of course. I fail at things all the time, I fail at singing every day!! I believe the best way to overcome failing is to pick your self up, learn from your mistakes and simply try again until you succeed.
What inspired you to succeed?
I don't think one particular thing inspired me to succeed. I'm not even sure something can. I have always wanted to succeed in everything I do and I have always done my best to achieve it. I think wanting to succeed is something that most athletes just have, something we are born with almost. To me it is just instinct to try and be the best!!
What did you want to be as a kid growing up?
I always wanted to a physiotherapist. I think I was there enough I thought I already knew how to do the job!
Your future goals in your sports, and goals when you finish your sport?
I have a lengthy list of goals I want to achieve. I aim high. I want to be the best female Aerial Skier in the world. This means I want to win two Olympic gold medals (I would be happy with one though), win consecutive World Championships and numerous Grand Prix Championships. I want to help promote Aerial Skiing in Australia. I know a winter sport will never have a huge fan base but the Australian team is one of the best in the world and compared to other countries we get very little recognition from the general public. I want to make Aerial Skiing known!!
When I finish Aerial Skiing I want to coach. I want to give back. I love coaching gymnastics so I want to give Aerials a go. I also would love to get into Television. Behind the scenes or in front of the camera. MY DREAM JOB WOULD BE READING THE SPORTS NEW REPORT!!
Achievements/results so far?
7th - World Cup, Mont Gabriel, Canada 2012
11th - World Cup, Calgary, Canada 2012
11th - World Cup, Deer Valley, USA 2012
3rd - NORAM, Park City, USA 2012
If you could have dinner with 5 people who would they be?
Misty May Treanor.
Harry Shum Jr.
What is one item you cannot live without?
People you would like to thank?
Glenda, Hugh and Tara McElduff. Cord Spero. Skye Benson. My team mate, Laura Peel and my best mate Jessica Camilleri. All of these people put up with me and my lifestyle and for that I am always grateful!! I would also like a big Thank you to World Gym Penrith who have been a huge help in getting me strong and healthy for training and competition
Any further comments?
I think The Sports Vault is a fantastic idea and I am so glad to be a part of it!
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