When your back­flip goes vi­ral

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE -

IT was the back­flip that went vi­ral.

More than 643,000 peo­ple clicked on the photo of Bai­ley John­son, 16, as he soared across a snow cov­ered Great Alpine Road about this time last year.

“It blew all our minds at how many peo­ple were shar­ing the photo and com­ment­ing on it”, John­son said.

“I was re­ally proud of the jump and land­ing it so smoothly, but I didn’t ex­pect there to be so much in­ter­est in it.”

John­son joins lo­cal leg­end Peter Zirknitzer among the very few to jump the road gap.

Zirky, as he is known to lo­cals, used to jump the gap daily on skis on his way to lessons when he was an in­struc­tor. A photo cap­tured of it on dis­play in the fam­ily owned ho­tel at Hotham since 1980s.

“I’ve grown up ski­ing at Hotham and al­ways ad­mired the photo of Zirky jump­ing the gap. I never thought that my photo would be­come more iconic, but that’s the power of so­cial me­dia I guess”, John­son said.

Since the photo went vi­ral on the in­ter­net, Bai­ley has been fin­ish­ing his year 12 school stud­ies at Yarra Val­ley Gram­mar and iron­i­cally re­cov­er­ing from a knee in­jury he sus­tained while ski­ing in the US this north­ern hemi­sphere win­ter.

John­son will be back ski­ing at Mt Hotham this win­ter.

“I think I’ll leave the big tricks to freestyle com­pe­ti­tions where I don’t have to worry about get­ting into any trou­ble”, he said.

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