Sport: Freestyle Skiing
Olympic History: Sochi 2014, PyeongChang 2018, Beijing 2022
Highlights: Silver at PyeongChang 2018, 2020-21 Crystal Globe winner, silver at 2019 World Championships
Coaches: Steve Desovich, Peter McNeil, Kate Blamey
Year Born: 1994
State Born: NSW
Hailing from Gosford on the NSW Central Coast, Matt Graham grew up skiing with his family from a young age. At seven years-old Matt joined the Perisher Winter Sports Club program alongside his three older siblings. He tried all the skiing disciplines and mogul skiing was his favourite.
Showing a natural talent for the sport, Matt moved up the ranks quickly as a junior and at just 13 became the youngest member of the NSW Institute of Sport program. Under the tutelage of head coach Peter Topalovic, Matt continued to develop his skills and progress in the sport.
In 2010 Matt made his mark on the world stage for the first time, placing 27th at his debut World Cup held in Deer Valley, USA. Following his debut, Matt was offered an Olympic Winter Institute of Australia scholarship and soon became a regular on the World Cup circuit primarily throughout the North American leg of the tour.
At 18 Matt had a breakthrough season during the 2012-13 World Cup tour. After achieving his first World Cup final in Deer Valley, Matt went on to finish seventh at the Sochi Olympic test event and fourth at his very first World Championships in Voss, Norway.
The following year he made his Olympic debut and came agonisingly close to making the super final at Sochi 2014, finishing just 0.01 of a point behind American Patrick Deneen in final two. The seventh overall finish was one position short of a super-final entry.
After the Games Matt continued to impress and in 2015 won his first World Cup medal, silver in Deer Valley. This was followed by two more podium finishes in Canada and Japan, where he placed second and third respectively.
A year later Matt had more success in Deer Valley, winning his first World Cup event and finishing the season in a career-best second overall behind Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury.
Matt had an impressive 2016-17 World Cup season, finishing third in the overall world rankings. After standing on the podium at four World Cup events during the season, including winning gold in Calgary in January, Matt placed 14th at the 2017 Sierra Nevada World Championships in March.
In his second Olympic Games at PyeongChang 2018 Matt became Australia’s 11th Winter Olympic medallist and second mogul skiing medallist when he won silver.
He saved his best run to last, putting down a final score of 82.57 to secure him second place behind Kingsbury once again, the world’s most successful mogul skier. Matt, the then 23-year-old, headed into those Olympic Games as the no.3 ranked mogul skier in the world – racking up four podium finishes from seven World Cup starts that season.
The 2018-19 season was another great one for Matt, highlighted by a World Championship silver in Deer Valley, USA. In the following year Matt finished in the top-six at six of the seven events he contested, ultimately finishing the 2019-20 tour fourth overall.
Following a year of disrupted training due to the pandemic, Matt had his best World Cup tour to date during the 2020-21 season. Ranked number one in the world at season's end, he became just the second Australian male mogul skier in history to claim the Crystal Globe. Matt wrapped up his incredible season with a silver medal at the 2021 World Championships in Kazakhstan.
A crash in training at the Idre Fjall World Cup in December 2021 threatened to rule him out of Beijing 2022. At the event Matt finished qualifying in Sweden in fourth, but an accident before the final left him with a broken collarbone and needing surgery.
One plate, 13 screws, a flight home to Australia and four weeks later, Matt quickly got himself back into training with 22 days left before the competition began in Beijing.
He headed to the Geoff Henke Winter Olympic Training Centre in Brisbane, launching off the ramps into the pool in 30-degree heat, all while the temperature at the Beijing moguls venue, Genting Snow Park, hit a low of minus 19 degrees.
Matt didn't get the reward for effort at Beijing he was hoping for. A 65.13 in qualifying two was not enough to avoid elimination.
Off the snow Matt is also a talented sailor and won multiple national age titles when he was younger. The 27-year-old has been studying a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Business at the University of Newcastle which he aims to complete in 2022.