Student launches towards Olympic glory

Thursday, 8 February 2018


An elite student-athlete from the University of Newcastle has been named in the Australian Team for the 2018 Winter Olympics taking place in South Korea’s PyeongChang from Friday 9 February.

Mathew Graham competing at the 2014 Winter Olympics

Currently ranked third in the world, Matthew Graham will take to the slopes tomorrow to qualify for his event, Freestyle Moguls, which consists of skiing on a steep and heavily moguled course stressing technical turns, aerial maneuvers and speed.

No stranger to competing on a world stage, this will be Matthew’s second Olympic campaign after coming seventh in his event at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, missing out on the medal round by just 0.01 points.

Supported by the Elite Athlete Friendly University Program, Matthew is juggling his world ranking with a double degree in a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) and Bachelor of Business.

Elite Athlete Support Officer, Mr Andrew Yapp, said Matthew demonstrates that high-level sport and high-level academia can and do coexist.

“Matthew is a shining example of how the traits of an elite athlete can translate to university study. Determination, motivation, focus and self-drive have not only allowed him to reach the pinnacle of his sport, but also to maintain an incredibly high level of academic success.

“Through its Elite Athlete Program, the University continues to support high-level sportspeople to balance the demands of International competition with tertiary study, with approximately 130 student-athletes participating in the program for 2018,” Mr Yapp said.

With four World Cup podium finishes under his belt this season, Matthew is going into the Games as a genuine medal contender.

The Freestyle Moguls qualifying event will be aired tomorrow Friday 9 February on Channel 7 from 1.45pm.