The exciting result makes Kennedy-Sim just the fourth Australian Ski Cross athlete to win a World Cup medal, joining former teammates Jenny Owens, Scott Kneller and current teammate Anton Grimus as the only Australian’s to achieve the significant milestone.
On two previous occasions in her career, Kennedy-Sim had made it through to the final four skiers in the final medal round, but had to settle for fourth place.
After qualifying strongly in third position, Kennedy-Sim raced well in the head-to-head finals, finishing in second place in the quarter-final, semi-final and medal final round for the silver.
Finishing ahead of Kennedy-Sim in first place was Swedish skier Sandra Naeslund with Austrian Katrin Ofner once place behind in third.
Reflecting on her first World Cup podium, Kennedy-Sim commented after the race.
“Today has been an awesome day, this has been my first podium.”
“Usually my starts are my strength but on this track that is not the case. I skied the fast and technical track really well and the feeling of all the hard work that I have put in and that my support team have put in is fantastic!”
“Now that I have this under my belt I am so ready to repeat it.”
OWIA Ski Cross Head Coach Shawn Flemming was full of praise for his athlete’s performance.
“Super proud of Sami today she was able to stay composed and stick to her game plan through every heat and we knew with that we had a good chance. Consistency was the goal for today and it finally paid off for her.”
“The track here is incredible, so much opportunity for racing. Very technical start section, through the middle it's full of roller combinations, small jumps and some turns then leading in to the longest finish straight which is packed with huge jumps and roller features, very exciting course to race on.”
Competing in the second World Cup event at Idre Fjall, Kennedy-Sim was unable to replicate her day one performance, with the NSWIS skier finishing in tenth place in the quarter final round.
Anton Grimus will have to wait a little longer to make his return to World Cup competition following minor knee surgery in December. Grimus took part in official training, but the coaching and medical team in consultation with Grimus elected to wait to the next event in Sunny Valley, Russia, for his return.
IMAGE: Sami Kennedy-Sim (left) breaks through for the first podium of her career © Anton Grimus