The biggest decision that SSA had to make was over its final nomination for the fourth aerial position, with Alisa Camplin, Liz Gardner and Lydia Ierodiaconou already being nominated. The SSA decided to give the fourth nomination to former world champion Jacqui Cooper, who is fighting for a place in the team with Lainie Cole and Bree Munro.
Previously, the SSA was only allowed to nominate one athlete for each discipline, however this time round it has filled the four quota places available in ski and snowboard events under the International Olympic Committee rules. Being able to nominate more than one athlete per event has been a positive for the SSA, and CEO Michael Kennedy believes it is fantastic that they have been given the opportunity.
“We have three cross country skiers where we had none in Salt Lake, and we have nine snowboarders in three different events which is a massive increase on the one rider we had four years ago,” he said. “We sent five athletes to Salt Lake 2002 who had won World Cup medals, but this team contains nine athletes who have made World Cup podiums. We have no doubt that we are taking our best possible athletes and the strongest team in our history to Torino.”
The athletes nominated to the AOC are:
– Alisa Camplin, Jacqui Cooper, Liz Gardner and Lydia Ierodiaconou for Aerial skiing.
– AJ Bear (super G), Craig Branch (downhill, combined), Jono Brauer (slalom, combined) and Brad Wall (giant slalom) for Alpine skiing.
– Esther Bottomley (sprint), Clare-Louise Brumley (pursuit, 15km classic) and Paul Murray (sprint) for cross-country skiing.
– Manuela Berchtold, Dale Begg-Smith, Jason Begg-Smith, Nick Fisher and Michael Robertson for mogul skiing.
– Torah Bright (halfpipe), Holly Crawford (halfpipe), Mitchell Allan (halfpipe), Andrew Burton (halfpipe), Ben Mates (halfpipe), Emanuel Oppliger (parallel giant slalom), Johanna Shaw (parallel giant slalom), Damon Hayler (snowboard cross) and Emily Thomas (snowboard cross) for snowboarding. www.sportal.com.au