A ticket to PyeongChang, Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics is the end goal for resilient NSWIS Freestyle Skiing competitor Madii Himbury, who begins competition at the Subaru Australian National Freestyle Mogul Championships in Perisher Valley tomorrow.


At just 22-years-old, Himbury has overcome two injury setbacks to be the athlete she is today. The first occurred six years ago when the Rose Bay local injured her ACL during a training accident.


After spending a year rehabilitating her knee, Himbury returned to competition and made her first ever North American Cup (Nor-Am) finals, but disaster struck again as she tore her other ACL, this time in competition.


It’s a story of trial and tribulation that the Winter Olympic hopeful says has made her a better athlete. Himbury has turned a series of unfortunate events into positive learning experiences.


“I wasn’t nearly as good as I could have been, and both times I came back a stronger athlete than I was before,” Himbury told the Wentworth Courier.


“I’d say I’m better for the experience, even though it was a horrible feeling”.


However it isn’t just injury setbacks that have defined Himbury’s burgeoning career. In early 2015 she was in the spotlight for displaying sportsmanship rarely seen in the heat competition while at the 2015 Deer Valley World Cup in Utah.


Competing in her first World Cup event, Himbury showed good form on the steepest mogul course of the world cup skiing season to progress to the second round.


There she faced French athlete Perrine Laffon, who subsequently fell during the race and lost her ski, an instant disqualification. Needing only to finish after her rival faltered, Himbury stopped.


Her next moves stunned the 10,000 strong crowd. Displaying graciousness and humility, she returned the lost ski to her fallen competitor, and then skied to the finish by her side.


More than 12 months on, Himbury will hope for an incident free run in Perisher against a handful of the world’s best athletes from nations such as the USA, Canada, Japan and Korea.


The Australian Championships will be the first steps towards her hope of qualify for the Freestyle Skiing World Cup in February 2017, and then the Olympic Games in 2018.


After a stop-start career to date, surely karma will be on her side.

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