After a slow start to the year, Ballarat’s Shaun Findlay has gone from strength to strength in his alpine skiing career.
The 18-year-old is eyeing his seventh Australian summer spent in Europe as he continues to hone his skills.
This dedication was rewarded earlier in the year when Findlay took out the Australian National Championship in open class giant slalom.
The stunning result was the product of plenty of hard work and the odd setback.
Findlay, who started competing on the international stage at 16, did not achieve the results he was hoping for through January and February in the competitions at Slovenia and Germany. But he fought back to gain personal best results over the next couple of months in Hinterreit, Austria and Val Thorens, France – earning him selection on the Australian national team.
During the southern hemisphere winter, Findlay trained and competed in both New Zealand and Australia where he struggled for consistency after suffering an injury.
The young gun admits it took a little bit of time to regain his confidence after the injury.
“I maybe lost a bit of confidence...and I had bit of an injury with my knee and ankle, just some bone bruising, nothing major. But it took about the rest of the season to get back on it,” Findlay said.
But once he regathered his form, the season ended on a high. The national title a massive result for the youngster, who was also selected in the Australian under-16 team as a 15-year-old.
‘It was a really good experience. The first half of the trip wasn’t the best, but I finished on a really good note.”
Findlay competes in slalom, giant slalom, super giant slalom, combined, and downhill. His national winning run was performed on giant slalom which sees competitors go around the flags a lot faster than the classic slalom.
Findlay is currently completing a three-month conditioning program at RAD athletic development and will once again head to Europe in the new year.