Winter sport in Australia

While generally viewed as country more suited to summer sport (the mock Smiggin Holes 2010 Winter Olympic bid required Australia's tallest mountain to be raised 1000 feet with rubbish), several winter sports take place in Australia.

Australians participated in skiing as a sport from the 19th century, probably starting in Kiandra in 1861. Australia receives snow in the Australian Alps and parts of Tasmania.

The Australian Alps are within driving range for weekend trips for residents of Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, while Tasmanian ski slopes are within day trip range for residents of the state. However, there are no runs long or fast enough for the downhill competition and the season is quite short, with the snow skiable for only about 3 months per year.

In 2004, a mogul course called "Toppa's Dream" was constructed on Blue Cow.Alpha Magazine: "The Short and Bumpy Road" February 2006.] The Mount Buller World Aerials is an annual event, the first on the World Cup calendar. Aerial skiers practice extensively on water before trying jumps on snow, and Camplin practised jumps in a pond in Wandin (one hour's drive from Melbourne).Sports Illustrated: [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/olympics/2002/news/2002/02/18/murphy_camplin/ She comes from the land Down Under: Aussie aerialist Camplin captures gold in dramatic fashion] February 18, 2002.] The Kangaroo Hoppet, a member of the Worldloppet Ski Federation series of cross-country skiing races, is an annual citizen race that attracts competitors from several countries. Ski jumping is currently non-existent in Australia. [http://www.skijumpeast.com/masters/imcr2005.htm 2005 International Masters Ski Jumping Championships] report. Retrieved February 2, 2006.]

Many major Australian cities have indoor ice rinks, enabling participation in some winter sports regardless of the city's climate - for example, subtropical Brisbane is a major short track speed skating hub for Australia. Sydney hosted the 1991 short track speed skating World Championships (in which Australia won the men's relay event), and the 2001 Goodwill Games, hosted in Brisbane, included figure skating.

The only Australian Biathlon training course is located at Dinner Plain, Victoria near Mount Hotham.

Australia lacks any bobsleigh tracks (used for bobsleigh, luge and skeleton), but there is a bobsleigh push track in the Docklands area in Melbourne. [http://www.ausport.gov.au/fulltext/2002/sportsf/s488161.asp The Sports Factor - interview with Will Alstergren] ]

Australia's mild winters mean that in most parts of Australia, regular outdoor sports can be played all year, and indeed more vigorous sports are more comfortably played in winter. Australian rules football and rugby league, the two most popular spectator sports in Australia, are played primarily in winter. See Sport in Australia.

Australia at the Winter Olympics

Australia first competed in the Winter Olympic Games in 1936 and has taken part in every Winter Olympics since 1952. It won its first Winter Olympic medal, a bronze, in 1994, and became the only southern hemisphere country to win Winter Olympic gold in 2002. Australia has competed in every Winter Paralympic Games, and has won medals at every Winter Paralympics since 1992.

;Australian medals at the Winter Olympic Games

;Australian medals at the Winter Paralympic Games

ee also

* Sport in Australia
* Skeleton sport in Australia
* Skiing in Victoria

References

* [http://www.goodwillgames.com/2001/2001_figure_skating.htm Goodwill Games 2001 - Figure skating]
* [http://www.ausport.gov.au/fulltext/2002/sportsf/s488161.asp The Sports Factor - interview with Will Alstergren]
* [http://www.skijumpeast.com/masters/imcr2005.htm 2005 International Masters Ski Jumping Championships report] Retrieved February 2, 2006.
* "Australia and the Olympic Games" by Harry Gordon. ISBN 0-7022-2627-0
* "Steven Bradbury: Last Man Standing" by Gary Smart and Steven Bradbury ISBN 0-9757287-8-4, 2005.
* [http://wikiski.com/wiki/index.php/Australian_Geographical_Name_Derivations Australian alpine geographical name derivations]
* [http://wikiski.com/wiki/index.php/Category:Australian_High_Country_History Australian skiing history]


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