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Buller Welcomes Home Our Olympians
27 Feb 2014

Mt Buller Welcomes Home Our Olympians

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics have come to an end and Australia has finished with a record fifteen top ten results, six more than we achieved in Vancouver.

The Australian team finished the games in 24th position on the overall medal tally, with two Silver Medals and one Bronze.

Australia took its largest ever Olympic team to Sochi, with 60 athletes chosen to represent the Green and Gold on the world stage.

Mt Buller is proud to be the home of 12 of Australia’s 60 athletes competing in Russia and we would like to congratulate each and every one of them on their individual achievements.

Emily Bamford | Giant Slalom and Slalom

Emily Bamford Mt Buller

Victorian Emily Bamford has been a member of the Mt Buller Race Club since the age of nine.

The Sochi Games marked Emily’s Olympic debut and she had to battle against snow, fog and heavy rain in the Giant Slalom event, where she eventually finished in 50th place.

In the Slalom event, Emily pushed herself to the limit but she missed a gate on her second run and recorded a DNF. 

“I know that I was going for it that run and was doing all I could, but the gate was between my legs and I couldn’t do much after that,” Bamford said after the event.

“Next time I’m not going to be in the start gate kind of feeling ‘oh my God, this is the Olympics’, I’ll be in the start gate like… I can do this.”

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Cam Bolton | Snowboard Cross

Cam Bolton Mt Buller

Hailing from the Victorian coastal town of Sorrento, Cam Bolton’s Olympics will be remembered for his gutsy performance in the Snowboard Cross.

Bolton was looking strong in his Semi-Final before a racing incident left him with a broken wrist.  Braving significant pain, Bolton quickly strapped up his wrist and ran to the start line for the consolation Final, only to crash out again.  Bolton was unable to complete the race, but finished in an impressive 11th position.  Cam’s efforts were celebrated by his teammates for the character and determination he showed.

A former Surf Life Saving champion, Bolton finished 5th at the 2014 X Games in Aspen, USA and is rising star in Snowboard Cross.

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Belle Brockoff | Snowboard Cross

Belle Brockhoff Mt Buller

The Brockhoff family have an illustrious history in winter sports, with Peter Brockhoff competing in the 1960 and 1964 Winter Olympics and her grandfather Harold Brockhoff, who was one of the original pioneers of Mt Buller.

Belle continued this proud tradition by making her Olympic debut in Sochi.  The Victorian boarder gained plenty of attention for her brave stance against Russia’s anti-gay laws, but her Olympic debut should be remembered for her 8th place finish in Snowboard Cross – making Belle our highest ever ranking Snowboard Cross athlete at the Games.

Belle began skiing at the age of three on Mt Buller and picked up a snowboard seven years later.  Belle’s recent successes should come as no surprise when you consider that she had only been snowboarding for a few weeks, before winning her first Interschool’s title.

In Sochi, Belle Brockhoff looked like a strong chance to advance to the medal round before making contact with a Canadian competitor and crashing out in the Semi-Finals.

Brockhoff finished second in the Consolation Final, giving her 8th place overall.

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Katya Crema | Ski Cross

Katya Crema Mt Buller

Katya Crema also started skiing at Mt Buller as a three year old, later joining Team XTreme and the Mt Buller Race Club.   

Katya previously represented Australia at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, finishing 15th in the Ski Cross event and set her sights on a top eight finish in Sochi.

Some may have thought this would be a difficult goal to achieve, but Katya went one better and finished the Ski Cross in an impressive 7th position - equalling Australia’s best ever performance in the event.

It was an incredible effort from the 25 year old Melbournian and her performance will be remembered for an amazing passing move in the Quarter Finals.

"My goal here was top 8 so I’m absolutely rapped," Crema said.

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Anton Grimus | Ski Cross

Anton Grimus Mt Buller Beard Anton Grimus Mt Buller No Beard

The Grimus name is synonymous with Mt Buller, where Anton’s parents founded the iconic Hotel Pension Grimus, a landmark on the mountain that is famous for its unique hospitality.

Anton Grimus learnt to ski while growing up at Mt Buller alongside his brother Hannes.  Both brothers joined the Mt Buller Race Club before going on to compete in the Junior World Championships.

The Olympic debutant qualified fifth fastest for the Ski Cross Finals, but finished 3rd in the round of 32 and was unable to progress in the competition after crashing out.

Grimus also drew plenty of attention in Russia thanks to his Ned Kelly style beard, which he recently shaved off for team mate Scott Kneller’s Jindabyne Youth Foundation - set up in memory of Scott’s father Rob, who passed away last April.  Anton’s efforts raised $9,000 for the Foundation.

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Lydia Lassila | Aerials

Lydia Lassila Mt Buller

There were high hopes for Lydia Lassila in Sochi, following her amazing Gold Medal performance in Vancouver.

Expectations were not tempered either, once word filtered out that Lydia had become the first women to land a quad twisting triple somersault in training.  Unfortunately, Lassila was unable to land the same trick in competition and but still managed to win a Bronze Medal in a typically gutsy display.

“It was my maximum effort and to be able to do that trick in the Super-Final was something and I’ve left my mark forever and made history with that trick.  It would have been great to land it, but I was stretching for my life and I was really trying,” she said.

“It was really an all-or-nothing approach. I had nothing to lose. It was just an amazing opportunity for me to be able to do that and to do it my way.”

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David Morris | Aerials

David Morris Mt Buller

David Morris is the fairytale story of the Australia’s Sochi Olympic Games after winning a Silver Medal in the Aerials event.

David became the first ever Australian male to win a medal in Aerials at any Winter Olympics and was recognised for his achievement by being named as Australia’s flag bearer at the Closing Ceremony.

A trailblazer in a sport typically dominated by Australian women, Morris learnt to ski at the age of three and started gymnastics just one year later.  He was almost lost to the sport several years ago after suffering a hip injury following the Vancouver Olympics, but thankfully Morris recovered becoming an inspiration to our next generation of Olympians.

“I came back from the surgery but I wasn’t prepared for the Olympic hype and the downfall after that. I wasn’t an experienced athlete and I wasn’t prepared for the injury and the rehab and it really got to me and I basically took a year off but I walked away and said I wasn’t coming back.

“I took the time off and decided I wasn’t finished. I worked my butt off started back from the very very bottom of the field again and had to work my way back and earn back every privilege.

And we are very glad he did!

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Laura Peel | Aerials

Laura Peel Mt Buller

Competing in her first Olympics, Laura Peel again showed why she is another athlete to keep your eye on in future Olympics after finishing in 7th position in the women’s Aerials.

Peel won her first World Cup in Austria in 2012, which she followed up with a Silver Medal in 2013 at the Sochi Test Event/World Cup and the Deer Valley World Cup.

The 24 year old also joined Kirstie Marshall, Jacqui Cooper, Alisa Camplin and Lydia Lassila as the only Australians to have won a World Cup Aerials event (Kreischberg 2012).

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Alex "Chumpy" Pullin | Snowboard Cross

Alex Chumpy Pullin Mt Buller

Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin grew up at the foot of the mountain and atop his parents ski hire store in Mansfield.

The two time World Champion was named as Australia’s Flag Bearer for the Opening Ceremony and was the deserved favourite heading into the Snowboard Cross event at Sochi, but unfortunately it didn’t go to plan for the Mt Buller local.

Things were looking up for ‘Chumpy’ after he easily made it through the Round of 32; however things became complicated in the knock out Finals.  After missing the start, Pullin was unable to recover and eventually finished in 13th position.

It may not have gone to plan for Pullin but despite the disappointment after the event, his focus was on his Australian fans and the achievements of his team mates.

“I’m bummed that it didn’t go my way and I couldn’t give people a better show.  At the same time I think everyone saw how hard I fought, and the other Aussies.  Look at Cam up there. He’s taping his wrist, with blood in his nose. What a champion.”

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Danielle Scott | Aerials

Danielle Scott Mt Buller

Olympic debutant Danielle Scott was the youngest athlete to be offered a scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport at age seven.

Danielle began gymnastics at the age of three and managed to catch the eye of Australian Aerials legend Jacqui Cooper, who recruited her into the Aerials team.
In only her second full international season she made the finals in all six World Cups, before a breakthrough Bronze Medal at the 2013 World Championships in Voss, Norway.

Danielle finished in 9th position at Sochi and at the age of 23, the future of our Aerials team remains in good hands.

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Brodie Summers | Moguls

Brodie Summers Mt Buller

Brodie Summers was only 2 years old when he learnt to ski and after finding his feet, he later went on to perfect his craft with Team Buller Riders.

Summers secured his position on the Australian Olympic Team after strong performances in the World Cup leading into Sochi, including victory in the 2013 ABOM Mogul Challenge at Mt Buller.

Another of Australia’s rising stars, Brodie Summers finished in 13th place and was unlucky to miss qualifying for Final 2, falling short of the cut by just 0.1 of a point.

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Samantha Wells | Aerials

Samantha Wells Mt Buller

Samantha Wells is another former gymnast who was recruited by five-time Olympian Jacqui Cooper to Aerial skiing.

She secured her spot on the Australian Olympic Team after a number of positive results in World Cup events in the lead up to Sochi and eventually finished the Aerials in 18th position, missing the Final but just 0.29 points.

Like many of her team mates, at 24 years of age Samantha has a bright future ahead of her.

Samantha’s personal motto is “there is no substitution for hard work” and with that mindset, her sights will be firmly set on South Korea in 2018.

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