When Dale Begg-Smith won the Olympic title in the men’s Moguls event at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, he became Australia’s third winter gold medallist - after Steven Bradbury and Alisa Camplin. In the lead-up to the Torino Games, Begg-Smith won three World Cup rounds and was ranked number one in the world in the Moguls discipline. After the Games, he continued to dominate - winning three World Cup titles in a row. Only one other skier in the history of the sport, the French legend Edgar Grospiron, had ever won three consecutive World Cup titles while also holding the Olympic crown.
Begg-Smith was born in Vancouver and, whilst skiing for Canada, he made his international debut in 2001, finishing 18th in the World Cup just 10 days after his 16th birthday. He was training in a Canadian ski program when his coaches told him he was spending too much time on his fledgling internet business. He subsequently quit the program, and moved to Australia with his brother Jason. The pair stayed out of competition for three years, trained with the Australian team at Jindabyne each year, and obtained Australian citizenship. Competing for his adopted country in Torino, in one of the most competitive events of the Games, Begg-Smith received a remarkable 14.5 points for his turns - 0.70 more than any of his rivals - and ranked very high in air points and speed to win the gold. Jason also made his Olympic debut in 2006, missing out on a final spot alongside his brother.
Four years after his Torino triumph, and a year after major knee surgery, Begg-Smith won silver at the Vancouver Olympics - edged out by the slightly faster Alexandre Bilodeau, of Canada. He became the third Australian to win two winter Olympic medals- alongside Bradbury and Camplin, and the most successful Australian Winter Olympian.
In 2013, after three years out of competition, Begg-Smith decided to get back on skis for a bid at a third Olympic medal in Sochi. The 29-year-old failed to qualify for the 2014 Olympic finals after a spectacular crash on his second run in soft snow conditions. The mistake was out of character for Begg-Smith, who previously hadn’t missed a final in 64 starts- the last back in 2005. After the event he confirmed his retirement from the sport.