By Rachel Baird
The Australian University Snow Games for 2017 kicked off on Sunday at Thredbo Resort. CSU has 17 competitors from multiple CSU campuses, competing in 17 events on the mountain.
CSU has an Elite Athlete program to help students complete their studies while competing in their chosen sport. I caught up with CSU Elite Athlete and mogul skiier Nicole Parks at Thredbo. Mogul skiing is a freestyle competition in which competitors race down a steep, heavily moguled course. Moguls are small mounds, requiring technical turns and aerial manoeuvres to complete the course.
How did you get into mogul skiing?
I grew up in the Snowy Mountains, so skiing was a definite. At the age of two, my parents put me on skis and ever since then, I have been up the mountain every season. I joined the Perisher Winter Sports Club at the age of seven, skied a few different disciplines for a few years, then decided I really enjoyed mogul skiing and wanted to stick to the one sport. At the age of 14 I was recognised and offered a scholarship with the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS), and from there, went onto the Olympic Winter Institute of Sport (OWIS). My family and Perisher Resort are the ones that introduced mogul skiing to me and I’m so grateful!
What do you love about it?
Mogul skiing has to be the most fun sport out there within winter sports. I’ve always described it as many disciplines put into one sport; there’s the air / jump aspect, then the moguls / turns aspect, and it is also timed and judged. So much happens within one sport and I think that’s one of the main things I love about mogul skiing. I never get bored and there’s always so much to work towards.
Mogul skiing also has such an amazing community. My teammates are my best friends and I love that I can be in a sport at such a high level and still really want the best for my teammates. That’s just the way mogul skiing is, which makes it a lot easier to love every aspect of it.
What are you studying and how do you balance that with training and competition?
I’m in my first year of studying Exercise and Sports Science as a distance education student. Balancing sport, study and being social can get hard at some points, especially competition time. The sporting program I am in provides a lot of support when it comes to studies, and my coaches understand that sometimes I have to take a few days off from training to catch up with my uni work. Being a distance student, I only enrol in one subject each session, which leaves a lot more room to train and be social. The rest of my teammates also study at university, so we all get together and have study sessions. CSU has an amazing Elite Athlete program and understands the level of competition I compete at, which takes a lot of study stress off my mind.
Nicole Parks will compete in the mogul skiing at the Snow Games on Thursday. Good luck to all members of Team CSU at Thredbo. You can follow the highlights on Facebook and Instagram, or follow @charlessturtuni on Snapchat for the latest action!