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Olympic dreams come true | Team Selection

Author imageAOC28 Jan 2014
Olympic dreams come true | Team Selection

ALPINE SKIING: Australian Alpine Skiers Emily Bamford and Lavinia Chrystal have been selected onto the 2014 Australian Olympic Team.

ALPINE SKIING: Australian Alpine Skiers Emily Bamford and Lavinia Chrystal have been selected onto the 2014 Australian Olympic Team.

Twenty-one-year-old Bamford and 24-year-old Chrystal will make their Olympic debuts in Sochi in Slalom and Giant Slalom as part of a fresh-faced Alpine Skiing section. They join Dominic Demschar (20), Ross Peraudo (21) and Greta Small (18) to take the Australian Alpine Skiing section to five athletes.

Bamford and Chrystal's selection was confirmed following a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport >>

"I'm just so excited. I've dreamt about going to the Olympics for such a long time, so the fact that my dreams are coming true is really amazing," Chrystal said from Europe.

"I can't wait to get to Sochi and compete against the best in the world."

It has been a long journey to the Olympic stage for the Sydneysider. In 2011 Chrystal crushed her knee and fractured her leg. After a lengthy rehabilitation process, she fought her way back to the snow and onto the national podium in 2013. After 18 months off the snow, she won her third national title.

"I think no one was more surprised by it than me," she said at the time.

Since then, Sochi became a reality and her focus has been chasing the Olympic dream.

"Alpine has the most competitors of any sport at the Games, so my goal is a top 30-40 result in each discipline.

"Most of all, I just want to do my best, and do myself, my family and my country proud."

A talented all-rounder, Chrystal was a NSW representative in swimming, diving and water polo, and an active competitor for Palm Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, but it was always going to be a Winter Olympics for Chrystal.

"It's sort of funny, I'm a bit of a water baby but I love the mountains as well."

Like Chrystal, reaching the Olympic stage has been a lifelong goal for Melbourne's Bamford.

Bamford grew up watching video tapes of the Alpine events from the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City: "I watched them so many times the video started to fall apart," she recalls.

Having grown up on a horse-racing farm, Bamford was forced to make a choice between equestrian and skiing. She chose skiing and moved to a ski academy in Vermont, USA at the age of 16 to pursue her passion. Since then, Bamford has been skiing for Bates College in Maine, USA, but deferred this past semester to focus on qualifying for Sochi.

"The Olympics is definitely something I have dreamed about since I started ski racing," she said.

"I have been filling out goal sheets since I was 12 and on each form under long-term goals, I always wrote ‘represent Australia at the Olympic Games,' so being able to tick that off my list will be so rewarding."

The Australian Olympic Team is now a record 60 athletes >>

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