6 things you didn’t know about Taylah O’Neill
11 July 2017
FREESTYLE SKIING: Mogul skier Taylah O’Neill made her Olympic debut at Sochi 2014. Alongside her teammates Britt Cox and Nicole Parks, the 19-year-old made her goal of a top-20 finish, ending the games in 16th place.
Three years later, the now 22-year-old finished fifth on the 2017 North-American Cup circuit and is eyeing off her second Olympic experience in 2018.
Get to know your PyeongChang hopeful witjh these 6 fun facts:
1. I started skiing as a two-year-old. Basically as soon as I could walk, my parents had me on skis. I learnt to ski at Perisher Resort, in the NSW snowy mountains. I loved skiing so much from an early age, not much could stop me from being out on the snow.
Taylah at her first Interschools Competition
2. When I was young my dream was to be able to fly. When I was 2 years old, I thought I would give it a go and jumped off my sisters bed in my attempt to fly. Much to my dismay, I ended up flat on the ground with my arm bent back the wrong way, resulting in a broken arm. Luckily, my sport allows me to jump off jumps and ‘fly’ through the sky – enabling my childhood dreams to come true!!
Taylah (at the front with the broken arm) with four of her siblings
3. My favourite animal is a cow. Whenever we are on long road trips and drive past farms, I am captivated by the cows in the paddocks alongside the road. My favourite activity on long car trips is to stop and try and pat the cows closest to the fence. Unfortunately, as soon as they see me walking towards them they run away.
Taylah trying to feed cows with her moguls teammate Madii Himbury
4. I have 5 siblings, with my oldest sister being 20 years older than me. While we aren’t all in the same place at once very often, it is great to come home from a long trip overseas and see them all. Fortunately, they were all able to attend the Sochi 2014 Olympics and watch me compete.
'Team Taylah' at Sydney Airport preparing to fly to Sochi for the 2014 Games.
5. After attending Meriden School from pre-kindergarten to year 11, I completed my final year of school and HSC at Sydney Distance Education High School. In 2014 I commenced a Bachelor of Media (Public Relations and Advertising) at the University of New South Wales. I plan on completing this degree at the end of 2018, and in 2019 undertake an Honors degree at UNSW. After my sporting career, I plan on working in Public Relations.
At the UNSW Blues Awards with a few UNSW ski team members
6. Like many athletes, over my career I have suffered from various injuries. My biggest injuries to date have been 3 fractures in the right side of my back (2013), 2 stress fractures in the left side of my back (2010) and a ruptured ACL and torn meniscus (2014).
The day after knee surgery in 2014