Aspiring young skier, and a good friend of mine, Philippa (Pip) Sparrow recently returned home from touring North America as a member of the Australian Mogul Skiing Academy (AUSMSA). Last week I caught up with her to discuss the tour, aspirations for the future and the Korean Winter Olympics 2018.
Eighteen year old Pip, of the Mornington Peninsula and her teammates began the three month tour in Colorado, USA. The three month tour included eight weeks training, the US Selection Event and the North American (Nor-Am) Tour.
“US Selection is a great first event for the season. It plays a huge role in further selections for the World Cup and Nor-Am tours and can determine how the rest of your season will be. It also plays a major role in confidence and direction for the remainder of the year.”
“The training was vigorous, especially on the snow. Mogul skiing requires explosive strength and power combined with local muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness. It [Mogul skiing] is extremely demanding on the body due to the repeated impact and pounding on the bumps.”
“There are always heaps of injuries,” Pip adds.
Of the twenty-three young skiers training with Pip, only three were fortunate enough to be selected to represent Australia in the Nor-Am tour competing against Canada, America and Japan. Pip was one of these.
Pip and the other two male skiers selected, joined up with seven male members of The Australian Development Mogul team. Pip was the only Australian female to compete on the Nor-Am tour. There were four stops on the tour and the team spent one week at each. During this week the team completed a further two more days of training to firstly familiarise themselves with each course. They then competed in a Singles Moguls competition followed by a Dual Moguls competition.
The first stop was Telluride, Colorado.
“Each mogul course is approximately 200 metres long. This includes bumps that lead into two different jumps. The aerial manoeuvres that are performed off each jump make mogul skiing a great spectacle.”
Competitors were judged based on their style and speed by a panel of seven judges. At each stop there were approximately 110 competitors. Australia and Japan each had only one team competing, whilst Canada and America had ten teams each.
“As it was America’s National tour, teams from each mountain came to compete. Unfortunately there is not as much interest for skiing in Australia. Therefore we only had a limited amount of skiers with the skill level required to be competitive against the North American field.”
Pip’s best results on tour included 5th at US Selections and several 14th‘s, 15th‘s and 16th’s placements on the Nor-Am tour. Furthermore there was an overall ranking of competitors of the Nor-Am tour. Pip was the highest ranked Australian female placing 18th overall.
“I am extremely thrilled and proud of my results on the tour. I am excited for what the future will bring. My ultimate goal is to represent Australia at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea.”
Pip’s current success would not have been possible without the help of her hard working and very supportive parents, her amazing and dedicated coach Peter McNiel and of course her sponsors Ripcurl and Mt. Buller Resort.
Already ranked the 4th best female skier in Australia, there is no doubt this young Australian has talent and a bright future ahead of her.
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To view more videos of Pip’s amazing results on tour click here.