From the youngest Olympian in 2010 to the world’s top-ranked mogul skier, Britt Cox might well be Australia’s best gold medal prospect when the Pyeongchang Games begin on Friday. The 23-year-old shares how she got her start on the snow, what to watch for in her fast-and-free sport, and dealing with the expectations.
Out of the gate
I grew up in Falls Creek [in Victoria], so my parents are keen skiiers. My whole family skis. They didn’t start skiing until they were a bit older, but my brother and I grew up in Falls Creek and we were skiing from a young age.
I remember chasing him around the mountain after school, and after race club training, we’ll build a little jump off in the trees, or ski little bumps. It definitely was a passion our whole family shared together.
I tried all different skiing disciplines, but it was what I enjoyed most – skiing fast, doing tricks in the air and chasing my brother around. That’s where my passion for moguls came from. I just love the combination of skiing and jumping, and being able to combine them to put down that perfect performance.
Bumps and jumps
In mogul skiing, what I love is it’s just you and the course. There are a lot of variables with the course and the conditions, and the line that you choose and the tricks that you do. But for me, I love getting to a course and learning about what I need to do to make my skiing work for that course, week to week.
With moguls, the main things that you’re looking for with a skier coming down, it’s a judged sport: 20 percent speed, 20 percent the jumps and tricks, kind of like degree of difficulty in diving, and 60 percent turns technique. You want to see the skier take the most direct line possible down the moguls, with tight feet, really fast and full absorption, and a stable upper body. And the jumps – you want to be jumping as big as you can, but also being formed out and maintaining composure. So you want to ski fast while looking like you have everything in control.
It’s not always in control. Sometimes it’s on the edge, and sometimes you go a little too far over the edge.