On top of the world

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE -

THE ‘bumps’, which is the af­fec­tion­ate name for moguls, are mak­ing a road paved of gold for Falls Creek’s Brit­teny ‘Britt’ Cox with a ca­reer best sea­son which saw her take out the World Cup ear­lier this year in the fe­male moguls. We caught up with Britt dur­ing her busy sched­ule

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?

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.

For the unini­ti­ated, how do you de­scribe moguls?

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.

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?

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.

Can you re­mem­ber your first ‘snow’ mem­ory?

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.

You cer­tainly came a long way from shuf­fling around as a tod­dler on plas­tic skis and many of us read­ing this will re­mem­ber you as a 15-yearold who proudly rep­re­sented Aus­tralia at the Van­cou­ver Olympic Games, what was that like?

I can’t be­lieve Van­cou­ver was al­most eight years ago. I only qual­i­fied for those Games just three weeks prior at my first 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 mogul skier.

Mov­ing on to Sochi, you fin­ished fifth, how do you see your lead up now to PyeongChang in 2018 -- now that you will be a vet­eran of three Olympics?

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.

What’s the lead up to next year’s Olympics go­ing to be like for you?

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.

Good luck Britt, you def­i­nitely have the en­tire snows­ports 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?

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.

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?

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.

TRUE BRITT: Falls Creek’s Britt Cox (pic­tured) has dom­i­nated the World Cup moguls end­ing the sea­son as World #1.

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