When I last spoke to Mount Martha resident and avid skier Gus Broersen in December 2017, he said: “I’m going to keep working hard and hopefully I’ll get to represent my country in the future.”
I repeat the 15-year-old’s goal back to him during our recent second interview and he’s a little taken aback by how it’s come to fruition. “Oh wow! I just said that in passing. I never thought it’d happen. And it did.”
You see, since Gus shared with us nearly two years ago his five-year streak of winning the Slopestyle at Hotham and a Thredbo Big Air, he’s been a very busy teenager. He was approached in February by the Australian head ski coach, who expressed shock that Gus hadn’t completed an expression of interest to compete at the Junior World Free Ski Slope Style Championships in Sweden. One week later, Gus was accepted and set off to represent Australia with six other Australian skiers, of whom he was the youngest.
“Unfortunately, I slipped on my landing,” he said. “But it was a great experience. I’ve got one under the belt now.”
This year he’s become an ambassador for Hotham for the first time. But what does a skier do when there’s no snow to chase? Well, there’s trampolining, surfing, skating and of course schooling, which is completed through online distance education to fit in with his training schedule.
“These winter holidays I’ll be solo training at Hotham before heading to Perisher Winter Sports Club in the Snowy Mountains as I was offered a full scholarship, then back to Hotham for spring. Hotham is my favourite resort to ski at because of the awesome terrain and the great community.”
And it is a great community, with many friends, family members, coaches and fellow Hotham skiers texting Gus’s mum, Tammy, at 1am saying “We’re watching with you” as Gus tackled the ski jumps in Sweden at the Junior World Free Ski Slope Style Championships.
The only way to get Gus to take a day off from training is to take his lift pass from him — but he reveals to his mother’s displeasure that he’ll just buy another. After being offered a half-scholarship to the Wy’east Mountain Academy in the US, Gus and his family held a fundraiser, and with the support of the Mornington Peninsula community and Hotham generously donating raffle prizes, Gus was able to hit the slopes in Oregon. It was an invaluable training experience for the professional skier, who got to train for four months with like-minded young skiers from all over the world.
I asked Gus for another goal that we can put in writing so that it might also come about.
“The next Winter Olympics is in two years, or maybe I’ll aim for the Winter Olympics after that as I’ll be 22 years old by then. I wouldn’t be here without my sponsors Volkl, Oyuki, Picture Clothing, Spy Optics, Hotham, my many coaches and of course my parents, Tammy and Rob.”
Check out Gus catching some air on Instagram @gus_broersen