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Jakara's journey: How a kid from Cairns became our new Winter Olympics hero


Jakara Anthony has claimed Australia’s first gold medal of the Beijing Winter Olympics in the women’s freestyle skiing moguls.

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The Cairns-born, 23-year-old Anthony, who finished a surprise fourth at the last Olympics in PyeongChang, was rewarded by judges on Sunday night for having the most difficult aerial manoeuvre.

Earlier, snowboarder Tess Coady claimed a bronze medal in her event, making it the first time in Australia’s eight decades at the Winter Olympics that it has claimed two medals in a single day.

Anthony said she couldn’t wait to celebrate with her Coady after their historic feat.

“I’m so stoked for Tess – I was trying not to get too caught up in the hype because I had my own competition but I will definitely be hanging out with her,” he said.

Anthony (83.09) finished in front of American Jaelin Kauf (80.28) and Russian Anastasiia Smirnova (77.72) in the super final.

Anthony is Australia’s sixth Winter Olympic champion, effectively ending a 12-year drought.

She follows in the golden footsteps of Steven Bradbury and Alisa Camplin (2002, Salt Lake City), Dale Begg-Smith (2006, Torino) and Torah Bright and Lydia Lassila (2010, Vancouver).
“It’s really incredible to know that all the hard work that I have been putting into my whole skiing career is really paying off,” Anthony told the Seven Network.

“I really just tried to stay focused on what I needed to do.

“That was all I could control in the moment.”

Anthony had been in hot form all tournament, finishing on top of the 30-skier field during qualifying at Zhangjiakou on Thursday night.

She also topped Sunday’s first and second final with runs of 81.91 and 81.29 respectively.

Anthony is ranked third in the women’s moguls World Cup standings, and first in the overall mogul World Cup standings, which also includes results from the dual mogul discipline.

Teammates Britteny Cox finished 14th and Sophie Ash was 16th.

The gold medal performance capped off a huge day for Australia after St Kilda snowboarder Tess Coady earlier collected a bronze medal in slopestyle.

The 21-year-old was one of the first to pile on New Zealand’s gold medallist Zoi Sadowski-Synnott in celebration of their feat.

“That was crazy,” Coady said.

“Honestly, words seriously can’t describe.

“That was so sick.”

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