Australian Ski & Snowboard Awards
2012 Athlete of the Year Nate Johnstone making his acceptance speech (Photo Courtesy Nick Parkinson)
Johnstone takes top snowsport award again
Snowboard World Champion, Nate Johnstone, has been named as Australia’s Suzuki Snowsports Athlete of the Year for a second successive year.
Last year Johnstone shared the honour, but this year it is his alone after another stellar season on the halfpipe World Cup circuit.
Johnstone was presented with his award by the Federal Minister of Sport, Senator Kate Lundy, at a gala function in Melbourne tonight (April 26).
The 22 year-old Olympic Winter Institute scholarship holder finished the 2012 season ranked second in the world, down just one place from his ranking at the end of the 2011 season.
The highlight of Johnstone’s year was winning the World Cup at Stoneham in Canada.
Finalists for the award were Britt Cox, the first Australian woman to win a World Cup moguls medal when she finished third at Deer Valley, USA, rising aerials star and World Cup winner Laura Peel, and two medallists from the X Games, Anna Segal from slopestyle and Jenny Owens from ski cross.
Recent past winners of the award include Australia’s other 2011 World Champions – Holly Crawford, Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin and Anna Segal, 2010 Olympic gold medallists, Torah Bright and Lydia Lassila, two-time Olympic medallists Alisa Camplin and Dale Begg-Smith, and aerials great, Jacqui Cooper.
Ski and Snowboard Australia CEO, Michael Kennedy, said Johnstone had another exceptional year and remains one of Australia’s real medal hopes with the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games less than two years away.
“The standard of competition in World Cup half pipe continues to rise every year, and Nate continues to improve as well and he remains as one of the sport’s absolute elite,” Kennedy said.
“He’s only young and it’s only over the past two years that he is getting the benefit of some consistent training after an injury set-back just before the Vancouver Games.
“We are very confident that his best is still ahead of him and that he should be in great shape by the time Sochi comes around in February 2014.”
2012 Award winners
Suzuki Snowsport Athlete of the Year: Nate Johnstone (Snowboard halfpipe)
Suzuki Outstanding Achievement award: Laura Peel (Freestyle aerials)
Junior Snowsport Athlete of the Year: Britt Cox (Freestyle moguls)
Snowsport Rising Star award: Jarryd Hughes (Snowboard Cross)
Coach of the Year: Cord Spero (Freestyle aerials)
Development Coach of the Year: Jon Casson (Snowboard Cross)
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