It was a night to remember in Melbourne on Thursday as a phenomenal snowsports season was celebrated at the 2024 Snow Australia Awards.

The northern winter set new heights in Australian snowsports with athletes collecting five Crystal Globes for topping the FIS World Cup standings.

Across Olympic and Paralympic disciplines, Australian athletes scored 53 World Cup podium performances which included 18 victories. The next generation also performed strongly at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Gangwon, Korea, bringing home three medals.

“The Snow Australia Awards are a fantastic occasion to recognise the incredible performances of our athletes who this season recorded our best international season in Australia’s history,” said Michael Kennedy, Snow Australia CEO. “We are not only achieving podium results across multiple disciplines and events, but also achieving breakthrough results across our alpine and cross country skiing disciplines.

“Pleasingly we can see our next generation emerging and their performances at the Winter Youth Olympic Games are evidence that our sport has a healthy future for years to come.”

Moguls star Jakara Anthony, a New South Wales Institute of Sport athlete, took home the Female Athlete of the Year award for Olympic disciplines after a near-perfect campaign which saw her win three Crystal Globes.

Anthony became the first moguls skier in history to win 14 World Cups in a season, a feat that saw her named the recipient of the Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin Outstanding Achievement Award.

“Feeling really grateful to be named Female Athlete of the Year, said Anthony, an Olympic gold medallist. “We had one of our most dominant seasons ever in winter sports, across all our winter sport disciplines, so it feels extra special this year.

“It was a very crazy season and it’s a very hard to sum up, I don’t think I’ve come to terms with just how amazing it was. Super proud to be able to perform week after week, months on end… it was 16 starts this season, the most ever. To be able to do that with my team around me, was really special.”

The Male Athlete of the Year for Olympic Disciplines was won by 19-year-old sensation Valentino Guseli (NSWIS) who had another incredible season.

Guseli defended his Crystal Globe for topping the overall World Cup standings for snowboard park and pipe in a season which saw him collect three more World Cup podiums and his first halfpipe World Cup win.

“I’m honoured to be Male Athlete of the Year again – super stoked,” said Guseli via video message from San Francisco. “I’d love to thank OWI, NSWIS, AIS and Snow Australia for making it all possible.

“When I get back, I’m very keen to check out the NSTC [National Snowsports Training Centre] training facility which opens very soon.”

In the Paralympic Athlete of the Year categories, para snowboard star Ben Tudhope, a NSWIS athlete, won the male athlete award for the sixth straight year while visually impaired skier Georgia Gunew celebrated her maiden World Cup podium by taking out the women’s Award.

Three-time Paralympian Ben Tudhope, another NSWIS athlete, was proud to be presented his award.

“It’s a special night tonight. It’s such a privilege and an honour to win the Snow Australia Para Athlete of the Year, alongside Georgia as well.,” he said.

“It’s amazing that we have so many upcoming Para athletes in Snow Australia, in our pathway program. 

“It was an amazing season. It was certainly an interesting season, snow conditions weren’t amazing and there were a lot of gaps between competitions, so our motivation needed to stay high.

“That was my main goal, to keep the motivation up, to ride the best I can to keep it fun.  I’m at my best when I’m having fun,” he said. 

The Junior Athlete of the Year award was shared by NSWIS athletes, freeskier Daisy Thomas and rising moguls skier Lottie Lodge. The pair both represented Australia at the Youth Winter Olympic Games in January, coming away with silver medals. In addition to the Award, both athletes will receive a return international airfare from long-time snowsports supporter, Karbon.

Tudhope’s coach Nickie Rodger was named Coach of the Year for Paralympic Disciplines for the second straight year while moguls coach Peter McNiel took out the Award for the Olympic Disciplines for the fourth time.

The careers of Olympians Anton Grimus (ski cross), Steph Prem (snowboard cross) and Katie Parker (alpine skiing) were celebrated with the presentation of their Snow Australia Medals.

The Medal is presented to all athletes across Olympic and Paralympic disciplines who during their career represented Australia at the Olympic or Paralympic Winter Games or finished top 3 at a World Cup or World Championship level.

Sighted guides Lara Falk and Amelia Hodgson were also recognised for their work in partnership with our paralympic alpine athletes.

Retiring ABC presenter Karen Tighe was recognised at the ceremony for her support of Australian snowsports athletes in the media for over a quarter of a century.

Female Athlete of the Year – Olympic Disciplines
: Jakara Anthony (Moguls)
Male Athlete of the Year – Olympic Disciplines: Valentino Guseli (Snowboard Park & Pipe)
Female Athlete of the Year – Paralympic Disciplines: Georgia Gunew (Para Alpine)
Male Athlete of the Year – Paralympic Disciplines: Ben Tudhope (Para Snowboard)
Junior Athlete of the Year, presented by Karbon: Lottie Lodge (Moguls) & Daisy Thomas (Freeski Park & Pipe)
Coach of the Year – Olympic Disciplines, presented by Karbon: Peter McNiel (Moguls)
Coach of the Year – Paralympic Disciplines, presented by Karbon: Nickie Rodger (Para Snowboard)
Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin Outstanding Achievement Award:  Jakara Anthony (Moguls) 

Snow Australia

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