Monash University Arts/Law student and freestyle skier Anna Segal represented Australia earlier this month in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, where she placed fourth in the women’s ski slopestyle event.
Segal experienced her first taste of championship success as far back as 2007 when she won the Women’s US Freeskiing Open at Copper Mountain in the slopestyle category. Since then, she has reaped major victories at the Winter X Games in 2009 as well as the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships in 2011.
Despite devastating knee injury concerns which threatened her sport performance from early 2013, Segal had her mind and heart dead set on competing in this year’s Games which she had worked so hard towards. While still recovering her form and fitness from the knee surgery which forced her off the slopes just last February, withdrawing was never going to be an option for the ambitious 27-year-old.
“Since recovering from my injury, I have been skiing really well,” Segal told Monash University.
“I am yet to land a solid competition run this season, but that’s fine as I know I need to peak at the right time which is the eleventh of February.
“The most interesting and fun aspect of slopestyle is that each course is different, there is no standard course. I have no idea what I will be skiing in the Olympics.”
Her event specialty was only just recently added to the Winter Olympic Games’ repertoire of events in 2011 and Segal was looking forward to representing her country in the sport she is so passionate about.
“Prior to 2011, I was not aiming for the Olympics. Competitions such as the Winter X Games were our sport’s big focus. Within these last few years a lot has changed and it’s exciting to be able to compete with the Australian Winter Olympic Team,” she said.
Unfortunately for Segal, her 77 points fell just outside of placing with a medal as she was handed fourth place. But all points aside, the Australian athlete displayed impeccable execution; especially given her still being in a period of recovery post-surgery.
Being the bubbly, vivacious personality that she is, Segal rightly maintained a positive outlook of her experience in Sochi, tweeting her relief not long after the event:
“It feels like a dream. Tired, sore and filled with happiness.”