All aboard as Mahalah soars toward Games

ALBURY snowboarderMahalah Mullins has been selected in theAustralian Youth Olympic Team.
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FLYING HIGH: A digital sequence of Albury schoolgirl Mahalah Mullins ahead of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Norway.

The Scots School student, 17, will compete in slopestyle and halfpipe in the Winter Youth Olympic Games inLillehammer, Norway, in February.

The slopestyle specialist hopes to follow in the footsteps of Aussie champs Torah Bright andHolly Crawford.

Mullins started snowboarding at Falls Creek when she was six and began training and competing when she was 13.

“It’s pretty exciting to represent Australia, and I think theYouth Olympic Gamesis a particularly special event in the celebration of sport that is almost as significant as the competition,” Mullinssaid.

“It’s also going to be cool to be a part of the team over there. I know and lived with a lot of the snowboarders, but it will be cool to meet the Australian athletes from other sports.”

Mullinswas able to earn selection despite missing the2015 Junior World Championships with a seriousankle injury.

She is in Colorado in the UStraining with Transition Snowboard Camp before heading toCalifornia for competitions at the end of January.

“I try to go into competitions aiming to land my run rather than aiming for a place,” she said.

EXCITED: Mahalah Mullins

“It’s pretty pointless to set goals on what other people are doing or on factors you can’t control.

“I’m really looking forward to a great Youth Olympic Gamesexperience.”​

Mullinssaid it was a challenge juggling training and competing around the world with her studies in The Scots School.

“I’m going to head home for a little bit before the Youth Olympic Gamesso I can go to school,” she said.

“I’m having a less intense season this year because I am doing year 12 so I have to balance schoolwork along with traveling and competition.”

Sydney prodigy Emily Arthur, 16, joins Mullins in the team and together they are forming the next generation of snowboarders.

The slopestyle event made its Olympic debut at the first Youth Olympic Gamesin Innsbruck in 2012, whereAustralian Alex Fitch won a bronze medal.

Along with snowboarding, Australia will alsobe represented in alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, cross country skiing, ice hockey (skills challenge), luge and short track skating.

Next month’s event in Lillehammerwill include many of the venues from the Winter Games in Norway in 1994 with 1100 young athletes from 70 nations competing in 70 events.

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