Name: Annabel Blake
Pursuit: Slopestyle Skiing
I compete on the Australian Olympic Shadow team for my sport of slopestyle skiing. This is an exciting avenue of freestyle skiing which involves skiing down a course of jumps and rail features. My goal was to represent Australia at the Sochi Olympics where I would be the first female to represent slopestyle featuring on the Olympic program for the very first time. Devastatingly and in my final lead up I became injured which meant I was unable to compete. Beyond the Olympics I would love to qualify for X Games and compete against the strongest field of international competitors. Besides the considerable challeges that injury presents, it is also a very expensive sport requiring me to spend six months of the year overseas, predominantly in the US where I am not eligible for a working visa. An Aim for the Stars grant will help to support me as I recover from my most recent disappointment and continue to chase my dreams in a sport I love.
When did you start?
I started ‘skiing’ on these little plastic skis that strapped over my shoes when I was one. As soon as I could, I was off on my own looking for anything I could jump off (or run into). Helmets were mandatory as soon as I left the lodge for a good reason, I was a little to zealous for my own good.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
This year I competed in my first International Competition, the New Zealand Open where I placed fifth ,and my first World Cup where I finished 12th. I was so nervous so I was really just happy that I made it to the bottom of the course!
What is your dream?
I once had a dream to attend Hogwarts. But with time I’ve had to let that go. Now I just want to be the best freestyle skier I can be. As I work on that I would love to qualify for X-Games or the next Olympics, if I make it that far in one piece. Staying uninjured is probably my no.1 goal, cant do anything from the couch!
Who or what have inspired you?
Who's your hero?
In sport I really admire Eric Moussambani (Eric the Eel). He competed for his country even though he knew he wouldn’t get a medal, or make finals. He didn’t have any facilities, or opportunities growing up, and was given a wild card entry. I think he really embodied what sport is really about and it took great courage.
Any other special talents?
I won a playstation at a competition this year. Since I don’t have any talent for video games I sold it and bought a bass guitar. As it happens, I don’t have any talent for that either……
I exclusively listen to smooth jazz while I’m riding. It’s really the only thing that can keep me calm, otherwise I loose my cool as soon as I get off the chair. I also hold a real penchant for the jazz flute when performed by Will Farrell.
I think I would have to give this to Monty Python and the Holy grail. The castle comes in at a close second.
Favourite TV Show?
Sushi? Or pasta. But I really like Indian. If I could afford lobster I would probably like that. Cant go past a good steak. I have a soft spot for cereal. Actually I cant decide, I just really like food.
How the grant will help you/how will you use the money?
At a World Cup this January in Breckenridge I took a tumble and tore my ACL as well as some other damage to my knee. With that, Sochi was no longer in the picture as I was instead flown home for surgery. This money will go a long way to help me get the physiotherapy and facilities I need to have a fast, strong rehab. So hopefully I can be back on snow and on track by next season!
Last words: Quote or Motto you live by?
As long as you can laugh at yourself then you will never cease to be amused