Olympic Mo­ments

Alpine News - - News - By Steve Cuff

EMO­TIONS and nerves are tested to the limit at Win­ter Olympic Games, there is pres­sure to suc­ceed for your­self, your team and your coun­try.

It is not only the glory mo­ments that stand­out, but the achieve­ments of those who were not ex­pected to win, some who did suc­ceed and those that may have fallen short of their own ex­pec­ta­tions.

The up­set story of the games was with­out a doubt Czech skier and snow­boarder Ester Ledecka. Not only did she come from the mid­dle of the pack to cre­ate an up­set vic­tory in the Ladies Su­per G, she backed up and won her main event, the ladies snow­board par­al­lel slalom. His­tory is made that may never be re­peated.

The heartache from that Su­per G race would have been Aus­tria’s Anna Veith who may have thought she had vic­tory se­cured be­fore Ester de­liv­ered a shock faster time.

There was some heartache and tears for our Aus­tralian team with Britt Cox dis­ap­pointed in her fi­nal run in the moguls where she would place fifth. Re­al­is­ti­cally there was a good chance of a mogul medal for the like­able Aussie girl but not to be.

Snow­boarder Belle Brock­hoff made a mo­men­tous come­back from in­jury to reach the games and be com­pet­i­tive. In the end it was not to be, but it was a sen­sa­tional ef­fort and when it was all over tears rolled down Belle’s cheeks. It was a sad mo­ment for her and no doubt had she not been in­jured she would have been right in the mix for glory. But there will be a next time.

Sami Kennedy-Sim in skier cross and Laura Peel in ladies’ aerial were both in the hunt for medals. Sami had a mishap in the start of the semi-fi­nal and could not make up ground to reach the fi­nal. Laura could not land her fi­nal jump cleanly which cost her a podium fin­ish.

One of our most dec­o­rated Olympians, Ly­dia Las­sila bid farewell to the Win­ter Olympics af­ter five ap­pear­ances. While Ly­dia did not reach the heights of her pre­vi­ous suc­cesses, she will al­ways be re­mem­bered for that tough Aus­tralian de­ter­mi­na­tion to fight on no mat­ter what set­back she had.

Ly­dia has been a won­der­ful rep­re­sen­ta­tive of our coun­try and we wish her all the best in her re­tire­ment.

The down­side of when things go wrong on this mas­sive stage is that ev­ery­one is watch­ing. There is nowhere to hide for in­stance when our speed skater Andy Jung crashed into the barrier af­ter los­ing an edge.

Or the heart­break when in your first games you crash in warm up for your event and your games is over through in­jury. Young slopestyle snow­boarder Tess Coady was look­ing for­ward to push­ing her­self into the top ten, but in windy con­di­tions missed a land­ing and her games done in an in­stance.

Even worse, the event that day was post­poned as or­gan­is­ers thought in the end it was too danger­ous. If Tess had taken it eas­ier in the warm up who knows what the out­come could have been. Sport can be cruel some­times.

There are count­less mem­o­ries from the games and our younger ath­letes just start­ing on their jour­ney will now look for­ward to their next chap­ter of Win­ter Olympics in Bei­jing in 2022.

Stay tuned to Alpine News sec­ond edi­tion this win­ter for more PyeongChang ex­ploits.

Sami KennedySim shows her dis­ap­point­ment at the end of the semi­fi­nal.

Pho­tos by Steve Cuff

Andy Jung and a fel­low racer hit the pads.

Belle Brock­hoff showed great courage com­ing back from in­jury.

Photo by Sue Ward

Ester Ledecka would win both ski­ing and snow­board gold medals.

Tess Coady and Laura Peel prior to their re­spec­tive events.

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