Hailing from Port Macquarie on the NSW north coast, Jessica Rich grew up wanting to be a professional surfer but a week-long school trip to Perisher in 2005 sowed the seed for a career in snowboarding.
After finishing her Higher School Certificate, Rich took a gap year at Whistler in Canada to learn snowboard for a season and hasn’t stopped since.
Rich went on to compete in rail jams in Australia and a small resort-based slopestyle event, which she really liked and began entering other events.
Her first international events began in 2013 on the snowboard slopestyle circuit and the possibility of an Olympic Winter Games beckoned when she began competing FIS events in 2016/17 season to qualify for PyeongChang.
In 2016, Rich on gold in the Australian international event Mile High, which heralded her breakthrough season. From that win, she went on to place 8th in the PyeongChang Olympic Test event in Korea the same year and in March 2016 won a second gold medal at the Austrian Spring Battle.
As a lone Australian athlete in her sport, Jessica Rich acts as her own coach, wax technician an organiser. She lists being offered an OWIA Athlete Performance Contract as her proudest moment as recognition for her results to date.
The 2016/17 season has also delivered strong results that have her firmly on the radar for the PyeongChang Games with an eight place at the Jamboree Big Air in Quebec, Canada in February 2017 and backed up with a ninth place in the Stoneham Slopestyle – also in Quebec.
Q & A
Proudest moment: Achieving an OWIA Athlete Contract in 2016 because of my results
Best sporting memory from 2016/17 season: World Cup in Italy because it was the most amazing place. We stayed in a castle.
I began snowboarding in 2008 and began seriously competing Snowboard Slopestyle in 2013
When I am not training or competing I am: doing yoga or researching health and cooking
I enjoy my sport because nothing else gives me the same feeling. The freedom, adrenalin and getting to be outside and active all the time.
Education: Certificate 4 in Fashion Design and Business
Favourite international competition: Laax Open Switzerland
Favourite Food: Nourish Bowl, sugar free/gluten free desserts
Favourite Music: little bit of everything depending on my mood
Favourite other sport to watch or play; surfing
My hero is Torah Bright
Sponsors: Burton, Perisher Rest, Liu Liu Lemon
Childhood Ambition: To be professional surfer sponsored by Roxy.
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