We first met Australian Alpine skier Greta Small back in 2011 at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Crans Montana (Switzerland), where she told us about her hopes of representing her country at the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in 2012.
Now, the 17-year-old, who competed in her first senior World Ski Championships in Schladming (Austria) in February, has her sights set on competing at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games in 2014 and says the Youth Olympic Games helped put her on the path to achieving that goal.
“The Youth Olympic Games was a once-in-a-lifetime experience so it definitely helped me,” said Greta, who did not medal in Innsbruck. “The positive and negative experiences I had changed my mindset going into Sochi and for my racing career in general. If I had not had some of those negative experiences I would not be having the awesome results I am having now. I am a lot more relaxed in my skiing and towards races, which is ultimately making me ski faster.”
Greta’s compatriot and Innsbruck 2012 bronze medallist Alex Fitch also graduated to the senior World Championships this year, finishing 22nd in the snowboard half-pipe.
Alex won her Youth Olympic bronze medal in the snowboard slopestyle event which is one of the new additions to the Sochi 2014 programme.
One of the breakthroughs of the 2012 Australian Winter Youth Olympic Games campaign, Alex Ferlazzo, has also continued to excel since Innsbruck and could push for a place in Sochi 2014. Now in only his second season of competing in luge, Alex has made history by winning bronze at a Junior World Cup in Norway – Australia’s first ever medal at this level.
Good luck to Greta and her Australian YOG team mates and to all the Innsbruck athletes who are working hard to achieve their own goals!