skier Mitch Gourley had a standout season with a number of podium finishes.
AUSTRALIAN para-alpine skier Mitch Gourley finished the World Cup season on a high, placing third on the overall rankings.
A successful run of events over the 2015/16 season saw him on the podium nine times.
Gourley who hails from Geelong, was born a congenital arm amputee below the elbow and competes in men’s standing para-alpine events.
A dual Paralympian, Gourley went into the World Cup season with goals of being a more consistent performer in the speed disciplines and to win a medal in Downhill.
This goal was achieved when he took silver at the World Cup at the ski resort of Tignes in France at the end of January.
“That was a huge day for me in Tignes,” Gourley said.
“It’s not easy to be a four- event skier from Australia as training options are always thin and you’ve got to call in a lot of favours.
“I think I came last in my first ever World Cup Downhill race, so it was a long road,” Gourley said.
Gourley went on to win silver in Downhill again at the final World Cup of the season in Aspen, finishing the season second overall in the discipline.
The 24-year-old said that this was his biggest achievement of the season.
“Getting on the podium a couple times and second in the discipline title was pretty unexpected for a lot of people and something I’m really proud of.”
After struggling with form over the last few years, Gourley’s hard work and persistence has paid off.
Gourley will now enjoy some well-earned rest in Canada before returning to Australia in the middle of the year for the domestic season.
Managed by the Australian Paralympic Committee since 1994, Ski and Snowboard Australia took carriage of the para-winter sports program in November 2015.
SILVER: Para-alpine skier Mitch Gourley had a stellar season and took the silver in the Downhill at Tignes, France at the end of January.