Youth Olympic bronze for PLC Sydney snowboarder, Abbey Wilson.

Abbey Wilson and other Aussie, William Martin, have won Australia’s first ever Winter Youth Olympic Games (WYOG) snowboard cross mixed teams medal, claiming bronze in Gangwon, South Korea.

The result also marks Australia’s first medal for the 2024 edition of the WYOG.

In strong form from start to finish, the Australian team crossed the line just 0.26 seconds behind second place, France’s Maja-Li Iafrate Danielsson and Bejamin Niel, with France’s team of Lea Casta and Jonas Chollet claiming gold.

Jindabyne local Abbey Wilson, who yesterday finished the women’s snowboard cross event in fourth place, said she was happy she was able to come out and land on the podium today alongside her teammate.

“There are no words for it, it feels amazing to win this medal,” Abbey said, “I was over the moon with my results yesterday, I just came out and tried to put myself in the same position and ended up with a bronze, so I am stoked.

“As soon as I saw we had a good shot at a podium in the big final, only a second behind France after Will finished his race, I just went for it. Going second is always hard, I felt a bit of pressure, but I just fought to the bottom and to cross that finish line was amazing.

Abbey Wilson and the Australian Youth Olympics team in Gangwon, South Korea.

Abbey has been working incredibly hard

The mixed snowboard cross relay sees two snowboarders, one male and one female, race as a team with the men racing first and the women second.

The time differential from the male athlete's race is passed onto the female, resulting in a staggered start for female racers, with the first female athlete passing the finish line winning the race.

“I have worked really hard over the past year to put myself in the best position possible and earn this medal, so to win another medal for Australia is incredible,” Abbey said.

“Standing up on the podium with Will next to me was a feeling I have never felt before, it was really nice to be able to get up there as a team and be proud of not only my efforts but his as well.”

17-year-old William Martin said he was excited to walk away with a bronze medal in the team event and happy all his hard work had finally paid off.

“Winning this medal for Australia is surreal, and to be able to have Abbey there to share this moment with, it’s been a fantastic experience,” Will said.

“It feels so good to be able to come out and do what I love, and to do it in front of my family was amazing. Hearing them cheering us across the finish line was just incredible!”

Australian team snowboard cross coach Jackson Holtham said coming into the race he knew his athletes were in a good position, but to land on the podium was a bonus.

“I am just so happy for Abbey and Will,” Mr Holtham said.

“I know this result means so much to them, they have both worked really hard over the season and I am just so happy they were able to have this moment, leave it all out there and be up on the podium.

“We were fortunate to have great support from our team physio, performance manager and wax technician, they were able to keep the athletes focused and calm in the start gate, which ultimately allowed them to deliver on course when it mattered most.

“A bronze medal today was just the cherry on top, it gives them a taste of what it’s like to perform at this level and under pressure. I think for both Abbey and Will this medal will motivate them to keep working hard and keep chasing their dreams.”

Australia’s second snowboard cross team made up of Tasmania’s Lara Walsh and Victoria’s Cameron Turner were eliminated in the quarterfinals, placing 13th overall.

Australian Team Chef de Mission and Vancouver 2010 Olympian Ramone Cooper congratulated the athletes.

“It is such a wonderful achievement for Abbey and Will, one that we all share in the excitement and joy it brings,” Mr Cooper said.

“The snowboard cross team have operated with such professionalism and passion since the moment they arrived at the Games and have set a fantastic example for the entire Australian Team.

“Congratulations to Abbey, Will, Lara and Cameron on a successful Youth Olympic Games campaign, and to their families, friends, supporters and Snow Australia for helping make days like today possible."

This story was first published on the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) website on Monday 22 January 2024.