Winter sports preview: Jakara Anthony, Scotty James, Jackie Narracott among Aussies seeking global glory

As summer sports heat up, Australian winter sports athletes are heading north to kick off the first of four seasons of the Milan 2026 Olympic quadrennial.

After a record four Olympic medals and 15 top-10 finishes in Beijing earlier this year, our winter athletes are ready to prove to the world, once again, that we have what it takes to not only compete with the snowy northern nations – but to dominate on the World Cup circuit.

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The first year of the Olympic cycle will be anything but lackluster, as some athletes are still at the top of the Olympics, while others have unfinished business.

Post-Olympic retirements and starving young rookie debuts are also sure to keep veterans honest.

The excitement of the season will culminate at the World Ski and Snowboard Championships in Bakuriani, Goergia at the end of February.

Here’s a look at Australians to watch.

Scotty James, Jackie Narracott and Jakara Anthony. Credit: Getty Images

Mogul skiing

Starting with the best of the best, Olympic gold medalist Jakara Anthony. At 24, Anthony has already earned his sport’s highest honor, dominating the field at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to win gold. The queen of moguls backed up her Olympic glory by winning the 2021-22 season Mogul Skiing World Cup crystal globe, which is awarded to the skier with the most points in single moguls and moguls. parallel to the end of the tour. Anthony also has a silver medal from the 2019 world championships. Will she do better at Georgia 2023?

Jakara Anthony wins the globe in the dual moguls standings at the FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup in March 2022. Credit: Alexis Boichard/Zoom Agency/Getty Images

We can’t forget the 2018 Olympic silver medalist Matt Graham, who has unfinished business after missing the Olympic final at his third Olympics in Beijing. Graham won the 2020-21 World Cup tour and was a hot pick for a medal in Beijing. However, a broken collarbone several weeks out from the Beijing Olympics meant Graham needed surgery and had an accelerated rehabilitation program to get him into the starting grid in Beijing. Graham said his 29th-place finish in Beijing “hurts a lot more than the collarbone, I’m not going to lie. So much work over the past few years. Graham has had a productive off-season to get back into shape after winning back-to-back victories at the Australian National Championships in August. world in Ruka, Finland, on December 3.

Snowboard

Scotty James took a trail of a lot of hearts, but the only thing he’ll be looking to take this season is halfpipe wins. James won a bronze medal at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang and a silver medal in Beijing after being beaten by the most decorated snowboarder of all time – the one and only Shaun White. James said: “I have the bronze, I have the silver and now I have to finish my pool hall collection with the gold in Italy.” He clearly has the motivation to keep progressing in the pipe and will don the competition bib for the first time this season in Copper Mountain, USA in December.

Scotty James with his silver medal at the Beijing Olympics Credit: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

young gun Valintino Guseli, who made his Olympic debut in Beijing, will join James on the start list at Copper Mountain after kicking off his 2022-23 season in October at the Snowboard Big Air event in Chur, Switzerland. Guseli will compete in three different snowboard disciplines this season – halfpipe, big air and slopestyle.

olympic bronze medalist Tess Coady is also no stranger to triple snowboarding events and will start her World Cup season in Edmonton, Canada in the big air. Coady will look to win some world championship material in February to add to his 2021 bronze medal in the slopestyle event. Coady expects a high level of competition in the women’s arena this year and aims to unleash some new tricks. “Hopefully there’s some new stuff on the horizon. I think the events will be pretty hot this season, there’s kind of nothing to lose without the Olympics coming up, so I think people will just send it.

aerial skiing

Triple Olympians Laura Peel and Danielle Scott are already part of Australia’s strong aerial skiing heritage. The pair will hit the skies again this season when they join the mogul team in Finland for an action-packed weekend of freestyle skiing at the World Cup opener in Ruka on Dec. 4. Peel will defend his World Cup and World Championship titles. , while Scott will be looking to add to his bronze and silver medals at the World Championships. Peel and Scott were both favorites for the Olympic podium in Beijing, performing high-difficulty triple flips in the final, but both athletes failed to qualify for the super-final (top 6 for the medals) after making mistakes during their landings.

Australian Laura Peel missed an Olympic medal in the women’s free jump in Beijing. Credit: AAP

Slippage

skeleton cursor Jackie Narracott enters the 2022-23 season with an Olympic silver medal to his name for his Olympic debut at Beijing 2022. Narracott will be on the ice this week at the World Cup in Whistler, Canada. bobsleigh athlete Bree Walker is another one to watch on the ice. Walker dominated the previous two seasons on the single-bob circuit and was ranked fifth in the world heading into the Beijing Olympics. “Bobsled Bree” will join the World Cup circuit in Winterburg, Germany in January 2023.

snowboardcross

Triple Olympian Belle Brockoff begins this season as the reigning world champion in the snowboard cross mixed team event. Brockoff is a 12-time World Cup medalist and will be back in the starting gate in Les Deux Alpes, France on December 2. Brockoff missed the podium by one spot at the Beijing Olympics by finishing fourth, which undoubtedly left her hungry for the 2022-23 season.

Belle Brockoff after finishing fourth in snowboard cross at the Beijing Olympics. Credit: Tim Clayton – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Curling

Dean Hewitt and Tahli Gill were crowd favorites at the Beijing Olympics where they became the first curlers to represent Australia at the Olympics. The mixed doubles duo have done a lot to put curling on the map in Australia. Hewitt and Gill will take to the ice in Winnipeg, Canada on December 1 for the Mixed Doubles Super Series.

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