From Thredbo to Russia: Sam Robertson's Blog4 June 2013
Alpine skier Sam Robertson has a long path to qualify for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. For the 19-year-old World Championship representative, the road to Russia all started on the slopes of Thredbo.
BLOG: To represent Australia and my hometown of Thredbo in Sochi would be the most incredible experience and something I have dreamed of for as long as I can ever remember. Thredbo is a very tight community with a small population of about 200 fulltime residents and I know the whole village is behind me 100%. If I am selected I will be the first true local (who was born and raised here), to represent Thredbo at the Olympics.
Alpine skiing is really tough, both physically and mentally. Most of the top guys in the world are in their mid to late twenties and older. I know I have a long way to go, but my goal for Sochi is to get in the top 30 and then the following Olympics, a top 10 or better. I know I have what it takes to reach the top and I definitely have the determination. I represented Australia at the World Championships this year in Austria. It was amazing and I got the most incredible reception- it was the highlight of my life so far. The Europeans just loved the skiers from Down Under. It is a national sport in Austria and there are literally over 100,000 spectators. If you make it to the World Championships, the crowd just love you especially if you are from a country over the other side of the world. They think you are like a fish out of water and then when they realise you can actually ski.... well they just love the Aussies.
I started in 75th position, made some big mistakes and still managed to come 55th. When I got to the bottom I just wanted to get back up there and have another go and do it even better, as I know I could have got a much better result.
Despite what people think, even though we do have some challenging conditions in Australia, some of the best skiing I have ever had has been here. I have been lucky enough to ski all over the world, but when the skiing is good here, it's as good as anywhere and I think the tough conditions just make you a better skier in the long run.
I know I will be pinching myself at Sochi, it will be so amazing and I am ready to give it my absolute best shot. No matter how tough the conditions are, there will be no holding back. I cannot wait to represent Australia and my hometown, Thredbo!!