Australian sport off to a flying start in 2015
20 Jan 2015
Australian Sports Commission (ASC) CEO Simon Hollingsworth has paid tribute to our latest world champions and says the recent success is an encouraging sign for Australian sport.
“We finished off 2014 with Stephanie Gilmore being named world women’s surfing champion and that success has continued into 2015,'' Hollingsworth said.
“Over the past few days we have seen two new Australian world champions emerge in Laura Peel (Aerial Skiing) and Scotty James (Snowboard Halfpipe), while mogul skier Britt Cox picked up a bronze medal at the World Championships in Austria. Together with the double gold medals in the men’s and women’s team pursuit events at the track cycling World Cup in Colombia on Sunday, this is a remarkable start to the year.
“After solid and in some ways unlucky performances from our team in Sochi it is very heartening to see two young athletes reaching their potential and winning gold at the FIS Ski and Snowboard World Championships.
“Our success is a testimony to the continued cooperation and collaboration between the AIS, Olympic Winter Institute and Ski and Snowboard Australia to provide funding and support to our best winter athletes.
“Laura’s story is inspiring for any young athlete as she was a former gymnast who changed to aerial skiing as part of a talent transfer program.
“I congratulate all our athletes on their success, Scotty and Britt are still only 20 years-old so they have big careers ahead of them.”
Both Laura Peel and Britt Cox have spent a great deal of time at the AIS in Canberra as former scholarship holders and then undergoing rehabilitation after training accidents; Laura Peel (shoulder reconstruction) Britt Cox (fractured elbow), under the watchful eye of AIS strength and conditioning coaches Leigh Smith and Jamie Youngson.
“I am thrilled for Laura after her injury setback as I know how much hard work was involved here at the AIS to get her body back to the level a world champion needs,” Smith said.
“Britt spends a large part of the off season at the AIS and it was not long ago that she was working through her training program with her arm in a sling. It is fantastic to see that hard work being rewarded with a podium finish at the world championships,” Youngson said.