Winter Games team warms to task
TALENT abounds in Australia’s Winter Paralympic hopefuls but they won’t be expected to arrest the country’s long wait for another gold medal.
Today marks six months until the Pyeongchang Games and the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) is hopeful of taking a 15-strong team to South Korea. There are several unknowns for the team after the loss of their only two bronze medal winners at Sochi in 2014.
Alpine skiing world champion Mitchell Gourley is Australia’s best chance for a gold medal, while para-snowboarder Ben Tudhope is among the podium contenders after making his Games debut at 14 in Sochi.
An Australian has not stood atop the dais since 2002 when the country finished eighth with six gold medals thanks largely to skier Michael Milton’s four gold haul.
Chef de mission Nick Dean is tempering his expectations.
“It’s an unknown with respect to the actual outcome but it’s a great group of young athletes. They could surprise at these Games,” Dean said.