Beijing Athlete Tracker

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Sydney University will have two representatives in Australia’s 40-strong team to contest the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, starting on February 4.

Jarryd Hughes is in the six-strong snowboard cross-team, while James Matheson is among the eight-person Moguls team.

Beijing will be Hughes’ third Winter Olympics, having competed at Sochi, Russia in 2014 and PyeongChang, South Korea, in 2018, while Matheson will be at his second Winter Games, having also competed at PyeongChang.

Hughes is completing a Bachelor of Commerce at The University of Sydney and was on Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness’ (SUSF) Elite Athlete Program from 2018 to 2019. Having won a silver medal at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, he’s aiming to go one better at Beijing and come home with a gold.

Snowboard Cross is a head-to-head competition where four to six snowboarders race against one another down an established course. The athletes have to navigate several turns and obstacles, including bumps, jumps, dips and berms, testing many high-level skills, such as speed, turning and manoeuvrability.

Matheson has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from The University of Sydney and is a former SUSF Elite Athlete Program member. He finished 14th at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and, despite a Covid disrupted few years, has the form to finish on the Mogul podium at Beijing.

Mogul skiing is a series of bumps on a piste formed when skiers push snow into mounds as they take sharp turns. This happens naturally as skiers use the slope, but they can also be constructed artificially. Once formed, a naturally occurring mogul tends to grow as skiers follow similar paths, further deepening the surrounding grooves known as troughs. The term ‘mogul’ is from the Bavarian-Austrian-German word ‘mugel’ for mound or hillock.

While the opening ceremony for the 2022 Winter Olympics will be held at Beijing’s National Stadium on February 4, preliminary events for the Olympics actually begin two days earlier, with curling starting on February 2 and freestyle skiing and hockey events set to take place on February 3. The 2022 Games will end with the closing ceremony on February 20. Athletes will compete in 109 medal events in 15 sports over the course of two-and-a-half weeks.

Beijing Olympics organisers have built a slew of new facilities, including the new Zhangjiakou Winter Olympic Village in the Chongli district of Hebei province. The Olympic stadium, known as the Bird’s Nest, harks back to the 2008 Summer Olympics.

As well as the competition sites, Beijing officials said they have also finished more than 30 large-scale infrastructure projects to help host the Olympics, including a high-speed railway and new highways and an advanced power grid. The massive construction projects also include housing for thousands of media and staff who will visit China for the Games.

The mascot of the Beijing Winter Olympics is Bing Dwen Dwen, a panda that allegedly attains winter-sport superpowers after discovering a mysterious asteroid in a snowy bamboo forest.

Hughes and Matheson hope to tap into those winter sports superpowers.

Track selected athletes and their schedules and results below.

10 FEBRUARY 2022

Mens Snowboard Cross

  • Jarryd Hughes competed in 1/8 final 3, but after crashing out failed to progress to the next round, bringing an end to his Winter Olympic campaign.


Freestyle Skiing – Men’s Moguls

  • James Matheson competed in qualification 2, finishing in 14th position overall,  unfortunately failing to make the finals.


Freestyle Skiing – Men’s Moguls

  • James Matheson competed in qualification 1, finishing in 20th position overall. This result qualified him for Qualification 2, which is scheduled for Saturday, 5th February.

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