The Winter Olympics in PyeongChang is providing many inspiring moments. From the stunning figure skating and fast-paced speed skating to the thrilling ski jumping, there is plenty to watch and admire. And amongst it all, an Aussie has finally earned a medal.
Cheered on by family and friends, mogul skier Matt Graham is Australia’s first medallist at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics this year. This medal also makes Graham Australia’s eleventh Winter Olympics medallist of all time.
The 23 year old was sitting in top spot in the six man Super Final, but was beaten by mogul great and Canadian Mikael Kingsbury.
Australian Sports Commission chief executive Kate Palmer has congratulated Graham on becoming Australia’s first medallist at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, paying tribute to the family and support networks that helped make it possible.
“Matt described it best when he said the final 25 second run was the summation of a lifetime’s work, because his silver medal performance represents the dedication he, his family and his support network have shown over his 23 years,” Palmer said.
Graham established a love of skiing from a young age when his family would regularly take the long drive from their home in Gosford, on the NSW central Coast, to the NSW snowfields.
“Australia’s mogul skiers have got Australia off to a great start at these Games, with Jakara Anthony and Britt Cox also finishing top-five in the women’s moguls,” Palmer says.
The ASC’s Chief Executive added, “It’s a credit to Australia’s winter sport pathway systems that these athletes still have long and exciting sporting careers to look forward to.”
Following Dale Begg-Smith who claimed gold at the 2006 Olympics and silver in 2010, Graham is the second Australian to medal in the moguls at the Winter Olympics.
Graham was ecstatic to be able to share his Olympic moment with his family and says he was very emotional coming down and getting the chance to put his arms around his family and friends.
“There’s still another step on the podium to climb. It ain’t over. There’s a big four years coming up and I’m really excited for the future,” Graham says.