Emily Arthur described being selected for her first Olympic Games as the most insane moment of her life.
Arthur will represent Australia in snowboarding in South Korea when the 2018 PyeongChang winter games start next Friday. The Woronora Heights athlete is the only debutant in Australia’s five person team which includes triple Olympian Holly Crawford and two-time world champion Scotty James.
She may be the baby of the halfpipe team but the 18-year-old has plenty of international experience. Arthur was Australia’s flag bearer for the opening ceremony at the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games in Norway where she won a silver medal in the halfpipe before finishing 15th in snowboard slopestyle.
Arthur also enters her first Olympics in good form after recording a career-best result at the World Cup in December, qualifying for her first final and finishing in sixth place. She has also finished inside the top 20 in every World Cup event in both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.
Arthur heads into the games ranked 13th in the world and told the Australian Olympic website her selection had been a dream come true.
“I've wanted to go to the Olympics for as long as I can remember. It's always been in the back of my mind growing up that maybe one day I could go and I can't believe it’s now a reality,” she said.
I've wanted to go to the Olympics for as long as I can remember... I can't believe it’s now a reality.Emily Arthur
“I look up to the older girls on the Australian team so much. They have really taken me in and been so amazing to me. They are the girls I looked up to when I was young and still do. I know they are going to look after me and definitely make the experience so fun.”
Snowboard halfpipe qualifying will be held at the Bokwang Snow Park on day four of competition on February 13, with the women’s finals a week later on February 20.
There will be some pressure and expectation on Arthur after she earned her place on the team ahead of one of Australia’s most successful winter Olympians, Torah Bright.
The Olympic gold and silver medalist had rarely competed since winning her silver medal at Sochi 2014. Bright was omitted after a late bid for selection failed as she struggled with a wrist problem at the World Cup.
Sochi Olympians Kent Callister and Nathan Johnstone complete the Australian team.