Segal soars to defend world title

JEWISH skiing sensation Anna Segal has won a second world championship event in as many years, winning gold in the Slopestyle finals at the 2012 AFP World Championships in Whistler, Canada.

Segal put in a dazzling performance at the event to win with a score of 90 points, and now sits in second spot behind Canadian Kaya Turski in the world rankings.

“Winning one event is great,” Segal, 25, told The AJN.
“But backing it up the next season and holding off the younger generation of skiers is an even better ­feeling.

“It proved to me that my hard work to stay on top is paying off.”

Having now won two world championship events, in addition to placing first at the inaugural Slopestyle event at the 2009 Winter X Games, Segal is now regarded as one of the best skiers in the world.

“I definitely did not expect to do so well with my skiing, and especially did not expect to make a career out of it,” Segal said.

“I had idols in the sport and I’d always wonder if I’d ever get to ski with them. Now I’m competing against them and some of them have become my closest friends.”

Segal was able to back up a successful 2010/11 season with a strong showing over the 2011/12 competition, but the rigours took their toll on the young Aussie.

“I’d had a great 2011/12 season,” Segal said.

“But this was the last event of a long, hectic winter, and both my mind and body were tired.”

Segal broke her thumb and damaged her knee heading into the Winter X Games in Aspen in January, but she was still able to finish in third position at the event.

“Two weeks before the Aspen Winter X Games – which is the most important event of the season – I was training in Colorado and accidentally over-rotated and landed sideways,” Segal said
“I showed up at [the] games without having skied for two weeks, which was a little scary.”

The ski star was also awarded the 2011 Australian Snowsports Person of the Year.

“It was flattering to be recognised by Skiing and Snowboarding Australia,” Segal said.

“[But] at the moment I think measuring myself on an international scale is more important for me to do than on a national scale, [because] I don’t want to develop the ‘big fish in a small pond’ type of mentality.”

Segal is now looking forward to the prospect of representing Australia at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

“I am on the Australian ski team, but that doesn’t guarantee me a spot for the Winter Olympics,” Segal said. “Anything can happen from now until then, so I don’t want to assume I have a definite position on the team, [but] if that does happen I think it would be the pinnacle of my career.”