The Skiing Accident with Unbelievably Unfortunate Consequences

Callum Watson

I should apologise for the lack of posts since the Olympics. I treated it as almost a bit of a break from social media, however my sporting career has taken many turns and changes since then! All very positive with many promising gains up until now. I will write another blog in the coming days to explain what exactly I have been up to, however now there are more urgent matters to write about.

Nationals Quarter final. Photo Cred: Bring Into Being Nationals Quarter final. Photo Cred: Bring Into Being

Unfortunately during the National Sprint Championships I had a major accident which not only withdrew me from the race, but has seriously impacted my health and preparations for the coming European winter. It was the semi-finals of the freestyle sprint. The pack was tight and through a fast section of the course I clipped skis with another skier and fell in the path of the skier behind me…

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Skike Australia Victorian Ski Chase update

On Saturday 23rd August the final Skike Australia Victorian Ski Chase event was held at Falls Creek, the Kangaroo Hoppet/Birkebeinere/Joey Hoppet.  Thanks to the amazing team who put on this grand event.

What a great day it was too, sunny and warm with a light dry breeze that kept the softening snow from becoming too wet.

Important notice:

  • Registrations close soon. That’s right it’s not too late to be included in the great draw prizes.  Register here:
  • The Skike grand prize and cash prizes will be drawn at the Spring SXCV meeting.
  • The top 12 male and female point scorers aged 25 and under are eligible for the cash prizes.
  • Please check that we have recorded your results correctly (remember only your best two Falls Creek results earn points).
  • There has been some confusion between “Age” and “Age points”. They are only the same for 30 year olds.

See the interim results here: ResultsWomen26Aug ResultsMen26Aug Continue reading

Kangaroo Hoppet Podium Shots

Podium shots from the three Kangaroo Hoppet distances last Saturday.

Kangaroo Hoppet Podium Women Valentina Shevchenko, Esther Bottomley (missing Barbara Jezersek)

Kangaroo Hoppet Podium Women
Valentina Shevchenko, Esther Bottomley (missing Barbara Jezersek)

Kangaroo Hoppet Podium Men Phillip Bellingham, Valerio Leccardi, Paul Kovacs

Kangaroo Hoppet Podium Men
Phillip Bellingham, Valerio Leccardi, Paul Kovacs

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Switzerland and Ukraine top the podium at 2014 Kangaroo Hoppet at Falls Creek

Kangaroo Hoppet Press  Release

Falls Creek, August 23, 2014

Australia’s international ski marathon the Kangaroo Hoppet was held today at Falls Creek in north-east Victoria. Sunshine and great racing conditions greeted the 1000 plus competitors from 24 nations entered in the three race distances of 42km, 21km, and 7km. The first man across the line in the 42km was Valerio Leccardi from Switzerland, while the first woman was Valentina Shevchenko from Ukraine. The Kangaroo Hoppet is part of the Worldloppet series, which features 20 races in 20 countries and has annual participation of over 135,000 skiers.

The men’s podium was filled by Australian locals Phillip Bellingham and Paul Kovacs, with Vahur Teppan from Estonia and Thomas Smith from the USA rounding out the top five. This was Leccardi’s second Hoppet win, having won previously in 2010. The 30-year-old resident of Davos has been training and racing in Australia for over a month, based at the National Team Training Centre at Falls Creek.

The runner-up in the women’s event was Barbara Jezersek from Slovenia, ahead of three-time Australian Winter Olympian Esther Bottomley. Fourth and fifth place went to Lauren Fritz from the USA and Jessica Yeaton from Perth. A veteran on the World Cup circuit and five-time Winter Olympian, Shevchenko was the flag bearer for Ukraine at Sochi 2014.

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Images from the AUSXC Freestyle Sprint Finals

More images from the AUSXC Freestyle Sprint races last Saturday.

Images from AUSXC Freestyle Sprint Qualification

A slideshow of images from the Freestyle Sprint at Falls Creek last Saturday. This first batch is from the qualification round. For more images from the day (generally of much higher quality) see also the Bring Into Being Facebook page.


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Coach/Manager EOIs for Junior Development Tour

The Ski & Snowboard Australia Cross Country Committee (SAXC) is seeking expressions of interest from coaches and managers to work with an Australian Junior Development Tour to Canada during the 2014/2015 international season.

The intention is for the Junior Development Team to consist of 6-12 athletes aged approximately 16-18, with invitations to be based on performances during the 2014 Australian winter and recommendations from state coaches. The Tour will be of approximately six weeks duration and will be based predominantly at Silver Star / Sovereign Lake in Canada. Several key competitions will be targeted toward the end of the Tour, including a Noram Cup in Canmore.

Additional information is provided in the PDF document linked below. Interested persons should apply via email to SSA Cross Country Skiing High Performance Manager Finn Marsland ( by Friday August 22, 2014, briefly addressing the key selection criteria. Applicants may be invited to supply additional information and/or to attend an interview. The appointment will be made by a panel appointed by SAXC.

AUS Championships at Falls Creek – Race Report

The 2014 FIS Australia / New Zealand Cup (ANC) for Cross Country Skiing moved last weekend to Falls Creek in Victoria for the final races of the 2014 Australian Championship on August 16/17. There were four different winners in the four events. Local Mt Beauty/Falls Creek skiers and 2014 Winter Olympians Esther Bottomley and Phillip Bellingham won the Freestyle Sprint on Saturday, then on Sunday Jessica Yeaton from Perth won the 10km Classic and Swiss skier Valerio Leccardi won the 15km Classic. Unfortunately the weekend events were overshadowed by a serious injury to one of the race favourites, 2014 Winter Olympian Callum Watson from Jindabyne.

Full FIS results are posted on the FIS website. Australian results including age class results for Sunday’s races have already been posted here and here on AUSXC.


Women’s Sprint A-Finalists – Casey Wright, Esther Bottomley, Lauren Fritz & Jessica Yeaton.

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AUS 10-15km Classic Results

Results from the 2014 Australian 10km / 15km Classic Championship at Falls Creek today:

Still no report yet however…

AUS Freestyle Sprint Championships – Results

Time Trial and Final Results from the 2014 Australian Freestyle Sprint Championship at Falls Creek today:

Tomorrow, 10km Classic for women, 15km Classic for men, and hopefully time for a more detailed report.