Joany Badenhorst will lead her country alongside Mitchell Gourley at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang in March.
Badenhorst, who now resides in Griffith during the offseason, was over the moon when she found out she had received the honour.
“It is such an incredible honour to lead your country on the world stage,” she said.
The first female to represent Australia in Para-snowboard, Badenhorst has an extensive list of accolades. Set to make her Paralympic debut in Sochi, Badenhorst crashed on a final training run just minutes before her first race, breaking her patella dislocating her knee and collapsing her hip.
The crash only seemed to strengthen her resolve to achieve global success. Since then she has won one silver and two bronze World Championships medals, gold at World Cup events and this year, won the IPC Crystal Glove in Snowboard Cross – a moment she names as her career highlight.
The role is one where it is what you make of it according to Badenhorst, but she wants to make the event a positive event for the athletes travelling with her.
“I’m really excited to be a mentor and really work with the Team to make sure that we establish incredibly good and a supportive Team culture as we head over to PyeongChang,” she said.
“I want to be able to help give everyone the opportunity to be the best and do the best they can to represent Australia well.
“I know I have made mistakes as has my co-captain so hopefully being able to tell these experience to the younger guys it can take the pressure off and they can enjoy the experience not worrying about the mistakes.”
Badenhorst is preparing for the winter season approaching and is happy with how things are progressing.
“Training has been going really well,” she said.
“Just coming off three weeks of training in Melbourne and I am feeling the strongest I have felt.”
Badenhorst also thanked the Griffith community for getting behind her during previous events.
“Griffith is my hometown now,” she said.
“They have been incredibly supportive of me throughout my journey. To share my experience and wins with them is great. Hopefully, I can make them proud.”
I want to be able to help give everyone the opportunity to be the best and do the best they can to represent Australia well.- Joany Badenhorst
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