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Jim’s Australiana Spot – 2UE - July 2, 2017

Snow Sport in Australia


Only 3 states have snowfields - but lots of cities had skating rinks.

1 What is the historic town that links GOLD RUSH and skiing history in Australia?
  The Kiandra Snow Shoe Club 1861
2 Name the grey horse born in 2002 - champion sprinter and stallion, whose mother was mare called SKATING
  Bradbury's Luck
3 In Adelaide in 1904 a Scot, Dunbar Poole, introduced what two things into Australia.
  Skating rinks and ice hockey


In 1861, Norwegian miners introduced recreational skiing to the snowbound mining settlement after making forty pairs of short skis known as skates and the longer snow shoes described as two palings turned up at the front end and about four foot long. Barcroft Boak wrote in 1880s:

The snow lies deep on hill and dale,
In rocky gulch and grassy vale,
The tiny, trickling, tumbling falls
Are frozen 'twixt their rocky walls
That grey and brown look silent down
Upon Kiandra's shrouded town.

The “Kiandra Snow Shoe Club” (It's the oldest and longest surviving ski club in the world founded in 1861) held races for ladies and children as early as 1885. Barbara won the ladies downhill in 1887, the year her siblings won the girls' under-8 section and second in the under-12s. In 1908 the club held the first ever documented International and Intercontinental Downhill Skiing Carnival. Results - America 1st, Australia 2nd, England 3rd.

The Kiandra Goldrush was short-lived, but the township remained a service centre for recreational and survival skiing for over a century. The Kiandra courthouse closed and later the Kiandra Chalet Hotel. Australia's first ski lift T bar was installed on Township Hill in 1957,

Interesting facts about Aussie Winter Sports.

• Prior to 2002 Zali Steggel won a bronze in Slalom 1998 as did our men's skating relay team in 1994 (including Steven Bradbury!) Alisa Camplin won the freestyle skiing 2002. In 2006 Dale Begg-Smith won men's freestyle and Alisa Camplin bronze. In 2010 Torah Bright won gold in snowboarding and Lydia Lassila bronze in freestyle skiing and last year we won 2 silver and a bronze in those same events.

NB Incidentally, an American named Jackson Haynes (1840 - 1876) is regarded as the father of figure skating

Skis and Shes         
Kenneth Slessor


I sing about Women and Winter,
The rapture of 30 degrees,
The damsel who waits with a bundle of skates
And the girl who goes riding on skis;
And, oh for the flight of an eagle
To see where she happens to go –
But waving a wing is a difficult thing
When you lie with you face in the snow.

Poo-pooh to your ice, Kosciuszko,
A fig for your cucumber air,
Your peaks, I’m informed, are sufficiently warmed
By the presence of Annabel there;
But this I’m unable to warrant,
The fact is, I really don’t know –
Wherever I climb I spend most of my time
With my face in a puddle of snow.

I know she has wings on her ankles,
I know she can leap like a trout,
The hoi-polloi thrill when she whistles downhill
And the guides find their eyes popping out;
For this I’ll accept without question
The word of the Tourist Bureau –
My personal view is a trifle askew
Due to banging my face in the snow.

If only my skis wouldn’t wobble,
If only my feet would go straight,
I’d chase her with hope down a nursery slope
And leave introductions to Fate;
But something has doomed me to grovel,
I crawl on all fours down below,
She catapults by like a bird in the sky,
And I lie with my face in the snow.

 

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