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Thredbo Ambassadors Set to Soar in Winter Olympic Games

Posted on 25 Jan, 2022 in Thredbo Parks

In the lead up to Winter 2021, Thredbo signed a fleet of young, talented and aspiring Winter Olympians as ambassadors of the resort. Now in 2022, six of them will be representing Australia in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Valentino Guseli, Tess Coady, Jarryd Hughes, Ben Tudhope, Abi Harrigan and Josie Baff will compete in different disciplines ranging from Snowboard Halfpipe to Freeski Slopestyle.

The year 2021 was a tough one. In September, the resort was forced to shut down for two weeks due to COVID-19 lock-down restrictions. During this time, Thredbo was given an official exemption to provide a training facility for Australia’s hopeful Winter Olympian athletes.

The exclusive, custom-made training facility provided the Thredbo ambassadors and their fellow winter Olympians a training ground on home soil to practice in preparation for the Olympics. National Freeski Head Coach, Leon Tarbotton said he was grateful to Thredbo for providing an Olympic-standard facility with such short notice.

“In the past, there have been national teams who have had to travel to New Zealand or overseas to get this sort of training facility and to have it in our backyard for the first time is outstanding,” said Mr Tarbotton.

Valentino Guseli at the Thredbo Training Facility

The Australian-first facility featured a 22ft high walled halfpipe and was the only one in Australia at the time. It also included a huge 70ft jump plus an array of other Olympic sized features.

Thanks to this facility, Thredbo’s Aussie Winter Olympians were able to continue their training in their very own backyard only months out from heading to the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games starting next week on 4 February.

Thredbo Ambassadors

Tess Coady

Slopestyle snowboarder, Tess Coady is a 21-year old with a big future. Since placing sixth in her World Cup debut at Mammoth Mountain in 2017, Coady has continued to climb the ranks to become one of the world’s hottest contestants in Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle. Her recent gold medal win at the Laax Open in Switzerland has sent nervous waves throughout the snowboard community as Coady prepares for the Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle on 5 February.

Tess Coady

Valentino Guseli

After stepping onto the world stage at just 15 years of age, Valentino Guseli has become regarded as one of the best young snowboarders of his time. The now 16-year-old is known for breaking Shaun White’s world record for the highest air out of a halfpipe – 7.3m – which had stood for 11 years. Guseli is certainly a front runner in the snowboard world, coming in an impressive fifth at the Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe event at the World Cup in the Laax Open. Guseli will make his Olympic Games debut in Beijing on 9 February and will surely be one to watch.

Valentino Guseli

Jarryd Hughes

Beijing will not be the first Olympics for boardercross rider Jarryd Hughes. Starting his career in 2012, Hughes went on to compete in two Olympics, bringing home a silver medal in the Men’s Snowboard Cross event at Pyeongchang in 2018. His most recent victory was winning Australia’s first-ever gold medal in the Snowboard Cross team event at the World Championships in Sweden with Belle Brockhoff. Despite recovering from an injury last winter, Hughes is determined to bring gold home from Beijing in the Men’s Snowboard Cross kicking off on 10 February.

Jarryd Hughes

Ben Tudhope

Ben Tudhope became Australia’s youngest ever Winter Paralympian when he competed in the Men’s Snowboard Cross event in Sochi at only 14 years old. Tudhope has since been flexing his skill on the world stage, claiming bronze this year in the Men’s Dual Banked Slalom SB-LL2 at the Para Snow Sports World Championships in Norway. The two-time Paralympian hopes to make Australia proud once more by claiming a podium position at the Paralympics in Beijing this March.

Ben Tudhope

Abi Harrigan

Abi Harrigan is a Snowy Mountains local who specialises in Freestyle skiing and the halfpipe. She made her world debut at the World Cup Halfpipe in 2019, competing in her first Freestyle skiing event at 19. Harrigan will be the only Thredbo ambassador to head to Beijing for two events. Witness her make her Olympic debut in the Women’s Freeski Slopestyle on 13 February and Freeski Halfpipe on 17 February.

Abi Harrigan

Josie Baff

Josie Baff is the most recent Thredbo ambassador to step onto the world stage. The Jindabyne local had her breakthrough performance at Switzerland’s 2020 Youth Olympic Games, claiming the gold medal in the snowboarder cross event. Her Olympic debut in the Women’s Snowboard Cross event on 9 February is set to be the first of many to come.

Josie Baff

A word from Torah Bright

Olympic gold and silver medallist and Thredbo Ambassador, Torah Bright knows the pressure of competing in the Olympics and sends her wishes to her fellow ambassadors and the rest of the Australian Olympic team.

“Australians should be glued to their seats and biting their nails during this 2022 Olympics. The Aussie team is filled with insane talent and all of them are at the top of their game. I am excited to be on the couch cheering the Aussie team on,” Ms Bright said.

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics is looking to be Australia’s biggest year yet, and Thredbo is proud to have helped our ambassadors train on their home ground by building them a world-class, custom-built facility to help them reach greater heights as they take on the world’s best in Beijing.

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Thredbo sits on the traditional land of the Monero – Ngarigo people who have looked after this land, water and community for over 60,000 years. We thank them for all they have done and continue to do to look after their country, a special place which we all love and respect.

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