In the past year Georgia Bushell has clocked up some serious frequent flyer miles.
The Year 11 student at Christchurch Girls’ High School is New Zealand’s top ranked Under-16 girls skier.
Georgia has been forced to spread her wings in pursuit of tougher competition.
Recently she has made two trips to North America and is currently in Canada for the 2015 Whistler Cup.
Early this year (January) Georgia trained with the Sugar Bowl Academy in Northern California and competed in the Far West events achieving very respectable results.
At the Sugar Bowl races, soon after she had arrived, Georgia placed 7th in GS (giant slalom) and 5th in SL (slalom). Ending her trip at the Snow Summit races she placed 3rd in the SL and had back to back wins in the GS races winning all four runs.
These results continued Georgia’s meteoric rise. In the 2013 Whistler Cup (Where was it staged – in whistler) which features competitors from about 35 countries, Bushell was 8th out of 110 competitors in the giant slalom . Last year she also attained the long sought after goal of being ranked number one for her age in New Zealand.
“I hadn’t been ranked Number one since 2007 Bushell says. To achieve that ranking was very satisfying. Even better was that I proved to myself that I could compete on an international stage. That was a real bonus and something that has motivated me to work a lot harder.”
Eden McKay is Georgia’s main rival in New Zealand. McKay trains Wanaka and spends the rest of the year in Switzerland training in the off season. Georgia and Eden often train and race together.
Georgia says there are “maybe 20 really competitive skiers” in New Zealand whereas in the US there are “over fifty.”
In the winter Georgia trains three to four times a week at the Mutt Hutt Ski field otherwise she prides herself on fitness.
“I spend a lot of time in the gym. I want to be the fittest and strongest skier at every race. I believe if I am in good shape I can make up for the fact that I am not on the snow as much as my competitors.”
Skiing runs deep in the Bushell family. Grandfather, John Bushell, caught the bug during his life and passed the passion down to father Michael who has instilled it in his children Georgia, Sam and Mia.
“I started skiing when I was almost 3 and racing gates when I was 5, Georgia says, my passion for the sport has escalated over the years and now I am too immersed to give it up.”
Georgia is coached by Chris Mosaed (head coach of team hutt) and Ben Griffin who attended the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. 2015 will be her second year with Ben and she’s really looking forward to making more improvements.
Mike Greer homes, Brandex and Atomic are sponsors of Georgia whose next goal is to reach the Youth Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway in 2016 and the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018.
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