Britt Cox’s impressively ‘bumpy’ ride to the top of the world
THE ‘bumps’, which is the affectionate name for moguls are making a road paved of gold for Britteny ‘Britt’ Cox with a career best season which saw her take out the World Cup earlier this year in the female moguls. The pleasant Britt took time out en route to training in Vancouver to talk to the Australian Alpine News community (AAN).
AAN: You’ve had a career best northern season so far, coming away as the World #1, was there one particular race that stood out from the rest?
BC: Thanks. This was actually the first season where I have done the whole world cup tour from start to finish and by far it was the longest season I have ever done. Having said that, being on top of the podium at the World Cup in Calgary with my teammate Matt Graham (who won the Men’s competition that day) was a really special moment. Matt and I train together all year and we push each other to become better skiers and I have seen the hard work Matt puts in, so it was really cool for us to take the top spot together on the same day.
AAN: For the uninitiated, how do you describe moguls?
BC: Mogul skiing is a judged sport that combines turns, speed and airs. A mogul course is usually 250m in length and around 28-30 degrees in pitch. The three sections of moguls are divided by two jumps with the middle section being the longest. Turns make up 60 per cent of the score. Judges are looking for active absorption, knee angulation, a stable upper body and the most direct line possible. Deductions will be made for leg splits and line changes etc. The other 20 per cent of the score relates to the jumps and much like diving, more difficult tricks can receive higher scores. When it comes to tricks, judges are looking for amplitude, form and axis. The final 20 per cent of the score is determined by speed.
AAN: It seems that you were destined for a life dedicated to at least one of the alpine disciplines, what was it about moguls that eventually became your chosen sport?
BC: I was lucky enough to grow up In Falls Creek and have the opportunity to try all skiing disciplines, however, after race club training or after school I would head out with my older brother and my dad and chase them down the bumps or we would build a jump off in the trees. I just loved the combination of skiing, jumping and speed.
AAN: Can you remember your first ‘snow’ memory?
BC: As a toddler I remember shuffling around our kitchen floor with my little plastic skis on (dummy in mouth) waiting for my parents to take me skiing. They would have me ski in between their skis while I held onto a pole in front of them.
AAN: You certainly came a long way from shuffling around as a toddler on plastic skis and many of us reading the Alpine News will remember you as a young 15 year old who proudly represented Australia at the Vancouver Olympic Games, what was that like?
BC: I can’t believe Vancouver was almost eight years ago. I only qualified for those games just three weeks prior at my first ever World Cup event (which also happened to be the last qualifying event for the games). Competing in Vancouver not only gave me the experience of seeing what the Olympics are like but also what it took to be a top female mogul skier.
AAN: Moving on to Sochi, you progressed to go on to fifth place, how do you see your lead up now to PyeongChang in 2018? Now that you will be a veteran of three Olympics?
BC: Sochi was a completely different experience to Vancouver and after four years on the World Cup tour I was a better skier and had more experience competing against the World Cup field. I suspect Korea will be different again. I am a better skier again, but so is the field, so I’m looking forward to seeing how much I can get out of my training in the coming months.
AAN: What’s the lead up to next year’s Olympics going to be like for you?
BC: This will be a big year of training. We have just wrapped up our first strength and conditioning block and now head into a number of water ramp and on snow training camps both overseas and in Australia. I am also looking forward to the Nationals In Perisher and the ABOM Mogul Challenge at Mt Buller. The World Cup circuit kicks off in December and it will be back-to-back competition each week from then until the games.
AAN: Good luck Britt, you definitely have the entire Alpine News community barracking for you and we will definitely all be watching when you compete for what will probably be a podium finish at PyeongChang. Any special thanks that you would like to make in advance?
BC: Every little bit of support from the Alpine community has helped me achieve my goals this past season. My teammates and I are grateful for the support of the Olympic Winter Institute in our preparations this Olympic year ahead and for me personally I am always thankful for my parents, Karen and Graeme, who have always encouraged me to chase my dreams and I’m so happy that they share my joy in the sport.
AAN: Finally, what would you say to any of the younger Australian skiers and snowboarders who dare dream of becoming the best in the world at an Alpine sport?
BC: Desire and hard work are your foundations. If you have the desire, the hard work will still be hard, but it will be doable and you will be able to enjoy the reward knowing that you earned it.
◆ WORLD’S BEST: Winning the Ladies Overall Freestyle Skiing Crystal Globe which is awarded to the freestyle skier who accumulates the most points in any of the freestyle skiing disciplines over the World Cup season.
◆ YOUNG STAR: A young Britt flanked by her ever-supportive Dad Graeme at Falls Creek.