In a season of many record breaking achievements for Australian snowsports athletes, Cox and James were awarded the top honour after their equally remarkable seasons, which saw the 22-year-olds dominate the World Cup season in their respective Mogul Skiing and Snowboard Halfpipe and finish the season by winning their World Championships.
“You couldn’t ask for two better ambassadors for our sport,” said Michael Kennedy, CEO, Ski and Snowboard Australia.
“Scotty and Britt are not only at the top of their game in their respective sports but are two of the most humble and genuine athletes I have ever met.”
“It has been a privilege to watch their journey from 15-year-olds at their first Olympics in 2010 in Vancouver to World Champions,” he said.
The prestigious Athlete of the Year Award has previously been won by Olympic champions Alisa Camplin, Torah Bright and Dale Begg-Smith and Lydia Lassila.
Britt Cox is Australia’s first female mogul skiing World Champion, winning the title at the Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships in Spain in March this year, having already claimed the World Cup series Crystal Globe with seven gold and two bronze medals for the season.
"It was a long season but it didn't feel like that because I was having so much fun," Cox said of her best ever season.
Scotty James is Australia’s first back to back snowboard halfpipe World Champion and is the current World Cup series Crystal Globe holder, Winter X Games gold medalist and Burton US Open silver medallist, trailing only to American snowboarding legend Shaun White.
James was unable to be in Melbourne for the awards due to a training camp in USA, but he recorded a highly entertaining video that was shown after his joint win with Cox was announced.
Alpine skier Mitch Gourley was named Para-Snowsport Athlete of the Year for a second year in a row, after another outstanding season that saw him win the Para World Championships for giant slalom, as well as the overall World Cup title.
The Junior Athlete of the Year was awarded to snowboard cross rider Adam Lambert, 19, who won the men’s overall Europa Cup title following a brilliant debut World Cup season, which culminated that saw him finish in the final of
Snowboard big air and slopestyle dual Junior World Champion, Tess Coady, took out the Award for Rising Star.
“The spread of performances across so many of our Snowsport disciplines and events is unprecedented and demonstrates the breadth and depth of our programs,” said Kennedy.
“We are genuinely excited about our prospects in Korea but there is still a lot of work to do and the Winter sports are an unbelievably competitive environment.”
Australian athletes claimed two World Cup Series Crystal Globes, 35 World Cup and five World Championship medals in the 2016/17 season, outstripping the previous best result in 2013 with 25 World Cup medals.
The full list of Award recipients and finalists named at the 2017 Australian Ski and Snowboard Awards are:
- Athlete of the Year
Winners – Britt Cox and Scotty James
Finalists - Britt Cox, Scotty James, Matt Graham, Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, Belle Brockhoff, Danielle Scott, David Morris
- Para Athlete of the Year
Winner – Mitch Gourley (alpine)
Finalists - Mitch Gourley, Joany Badenhorst
- Junior Athlete of the Year
Winner – Adam Lambert (snowboard cross)
Finalists – Adam Lambert, Tess Coady, Jakara Anthony
- Rising Star – Tess Coady (Snowboard freestyle)
- Outstanding Achievement – Lydia Lassila (Aerials)
- Coach of the Year – Steve Desovich/Jerry Grossi (Moguls)
- Development Coach of the Year – Jason Clauscen (Snowboard)
- School of the Year – Snowy Mountains Grammar School and St. Catherine’s School
- Outstanding Achievement of the Year for Small Schools – Rossbourne School.