Bright and Lassila grab award
30 April 2010
Vancouver 2010 gold medallists Lydia Lassila and Torah Bright have been named joint recipients of the Ski & Snowboard Australia Athlete of the Year award for 2010.
It was the second consecutive award for Lassila, who set a new Olympic record in claiming aerial skiing gold and also jumped to a world record score on her way to a World Cup victory in Deer Valley in the lead-up to the Games.
It was the first time Bright had taken out the nation’s top winter sports honour, after claiming Snowboard athlete of the year on three previous occasions.
Australia’s third Vancouver medallist, mogul skier Dale Begg-Smith, collected the award for Outstanding Achievement of the Year.
The 25-year-old moguls skier not only skied to silver in Vancouver, but went on to win a record-equalling fourth World Cup title.
Ski & Snowboard Australia came away from Vancouver 2010 ranked eighth on the medal tally among the 100 national skiing federations who took part in the Games, ahead of such winter sports powerhouses as Russia, France, Italy and Finland.
SSA also joins Swimming Australia as the only national federation in this country to win gold at the past three Olympic Games, summer or winter.
The Coach of the Year award was another joint presentation, with Olympic Winter Institute aerials skiing coach Michel Roth and Bright’s coach and brother Ben Bright sharing the honour.
The Snow Australia Junior Athlete of the Year award went to Vancouver halfpipe Olympian Scott James, the youngest male competitor at the 2010 Games, while the Snow Australia Rising Star award was picked up by the world’s number one 16-year-old moguls skier Matt Graham.
The full list of Ski & Snowboard Australia awards is:
Rising Star Award – Matt Graham
Junior Athlete of the Year – Scott James
Development Coach of the Year – Peter Topalovic
Coach of the Year – Michel Roth and Ben Bright
Outstanding Achievement Award – Dale Begg-Smith
Athlete of the Year – Lydia Lassila and Torah Bright