Sport: Alpine Skiing
Events: Slalom, Giant Slalom
Olympic History: Beijing 2022
Highlights: 23rd in Giant Slalom at Beijing 2022, 7x podium finishes and 18x top-10 placings in the 2021 season
Coaches: Martin Fahrner and Patrick Renner
Year Born: 1998
State Born: Victoria
Louis started skiing at just three years-old. While he excelled in a wide range of sports, the snow eventually won him over and narrowed his focus to becoming an elite athlete.
“I have memories tagging along with my big sister to Hotham Ski School, where we have been skiing since I could stand,” Louis said.
His journey in alpine gained prominence with a bronze medal at the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympics in ski cross.
Louis made the difficult decision to leave his family and friends in Melbourne to pursue his goal of competing at a winter Olympics when he accepted a spot in the US Ski Team’s high-performance program in late 2017.
He became a regular on the podium in FIS (International Ski Federation) events across the 2016-17 season. So the switch to the US development team was a game-changer, brought about by the connections which former Snow Australia’s Alpine director Mick Branch had with the sport in the USA.
Louis started with the Sugar Bowl Academy in Lake Tahoe and ended up in a Montana college.
“My primary training and racing opportunity in the past four years have been in North America where I’m attending college at Montana State University (MSU),” Louis said.
“With great time management and hard work I have managed to juggle a full-time college load and race the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) series, Nor-Am, the occasional ANC and even a World Cup start.”
The 2018-19 season was his first with the MSU Bobcats and Louis earned second-team All-America honours at the 2019 NCAA Skiing Championships in slalom after finishing 7th. In the 2019-20 season he was 10th in giant slalom at the NCAA Championships.
All this from the former Melbourne Grammar School student, who still shakes his head at how his career in skiing became a reality.
"I honestly don't really know how skiing became my sport.”
Particularly as, by his own admission, nobody else in his family holds a similar passion for ski racing.
"I've always been someone who's loved sports, any sport has been a good sport for me.
“I think skiing was just the one that I liked the most when I picked it, so I just followed that progression."
Louis made his Olympic debut at Beijing 2022 in the slalom and giant slalom disciplines.
Battling through heavy snow falls coming in at all angles, reducing visibility down to a few gates, he made best of the situation in giant slalom where equalled Australia's best ever result in the event.
Louis came 23rd in a field of 92 competitors, level with Zali Steggall's achievement at the Albertville 1992 Games.