Snow skier Phoebe Cridland, a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor Law student at the University of Sydney, has been selected on the National Senior and Under 23 teams for Cross Country Skiing for 2023-24.
The Sydney University Sport and Fitness Elite Athlete Program member is one of 27 athletes, including five Winter Olympians, announced by Snow Australia to take their place in the World Cup, Continental Cup, Under 23 and Junior teams.
Major events for the teams during the upcoming Northern Hemisphere winter include the 2023-24 World Cup series, the 2024 World Junior and Under 23 Championships, and the 2024 Youth Olympic Games (YOG). There is no open World Championship this season, however the team will be contesting more World Cups compared with the 2022-23 Covid-19 years, starting with events in Sweden and Norway in December.
“A season with no major championships is a perfect time to experiment with training volume, strategies and approach,” Australian Team Head Coach Alexei Sotskov said. “Our main goal is clear: building a solid foundation for the 2025 World Championship in Norway, and on towards the 2026 Olympics in Italy. The Trondheim World Cup in December is a great opportunity for the team to get to know the 2025 World Championship tracks and venue.”
In January the bulk of the Junior and Under 23 teams will be based in central Europe, preparing for the YOG in Gangwon, Korea and the 2024 WJC-Under 23 in Planica, Slovenia. Australia expects to have up to 12 cross country athletes competing in Planica.
In may 2022 Cridland and Adam Barnett were formally appointed as the 2022-2024 athlete representatives on the Snow Australia Cross Country Committee. The two Under 23 athletes represented Australia at the World Junior Championships in 2020, with Cridland also racing at the 2022 World Under 23 Championships in Norway. She also represented Team Australia in the Cross-Country Team Sprint Qualification at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Planica, Slovenia, in February this year.
Cridland started on her athletic pathway competing for PLC at Interschools until Year 10 before attending SCEGGS. A background in gymnastics also helped her skiing career and she was just 15 when she first qualified for the national team. The following year she represented the Australian Junior Cross Country Ski Team in competitions in Canada and Europe.
While regularly finishing in the top two at junior cross country races in the NSW and Victorian ski fields, she also competed in alpine, moguls, slopestyle and snowboarding at the representative level.
With that competitive smorgasbord behind her, she now has the 2026 Olympic Games in Italy in her sights.