This girl has got timing. Less than a month ago Jakara knocked out a career best result at the Deer Valley World Cup.

One of only two Australian women to qualify – the other being no less than the current world number one – Jakara came in 13th with a personal best score of 72.26, topping her previous PB (achieved the week before) at the Calgary World cup.

Making her move through the ranks and now a regular on the World Cup circuit at only 19 years of age, she is definitely one to watch.

When Pete and Jakara caught up he was struck by her straight up love for what she does. Hear from Jakara ahead of her Olympic debut in Pyeongchang in the Womens Qualifier today.

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For Jakara, landing a new trick gives her a sense of accomplishment… and this girl works hard at being the best she can, there is no denying that. But its those perfect days you get on course; it's just snow that she loves.

At 16, Jakara broke out onto the World Cup scene – a huge stepping stone for the girl who has competed most her life, never attending a full school year as term 3 was always for skiing in the Aussie winter.

Despite a lifetime of competition, it wasn't something she thought was going to happen at the time, but her first Deer Valley will always be etched in her mind.

“Deer Valley is one of the best stops on tour. It's just an atmosphere there is incredible. It’s the biggest World Cup I think we have during the calendar - the crowd, they’re really enthusiastic and it's massive; like just people as far as you can see, you get to ski under lights and it's just amazing.”

Nerve-racking but awesome, it led her on her path to be one of the two female competitors in her sport to make it to the Games and a member of the highly successful Australian Moguls team for Pyeongchang.

“We’re the best we’ve ever being right now with Brit Cox and Matt Graham - and our team just has the best season ever.”
For those who don't know what Mogul skiing is, the really basic version is it's a series of like little bumps in the snow that alternate left and right. And then there’s two jumps in the run.

For those watching the event for the first time...
Mogul skiing is scored out of 100; there’s 60 points for the turns, 20 points for speed and 20 points for air and in order to get a really good score you have to be good at all of those different skills.

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Jakara grew up looking to motivators in her sport like Hannah Kearney, a retired US freestyle Mogul skier. The best of her time, Kearney won a crazy amount of World Cups in a row.

Jakara calls her ‘a real powerhouse, an amazing skier’ and an inspiration to one of Australia’s most promising up and coming talents.

Watching Kearney at the 2010 Olympics and even getting to compete at one of the same events as her idol just before she retired, have been really special moments for Jakara.

Currently training under Peter McNeil at the New South Wales Institute of Sport, Jakara grew up skiing at Mount Buller when Pete used to coach there so they have worked together since she was a little tacker. Jakara says that coaching bond has been something that has worked to the best of her advantage and is something she really credits with progressing her skiing.

One of her proudest moments in sport was being chosen to carry the flag at the closing ceremony at the Asian Winter Games.

“It was a real honor to get to do that; something that like, you've kind of dreamed about but you don't ever really think you would get chosen for it. And I was just really proud to do that.”

Making her first Olympic appearance today, we are sure that Jakara has got many of those moments ahead of her – in the near and distant future.

“For me this Games is going to be a lot more about experience getting comfortable in the Olympic environment.
I think Beijing, 2022 will be my focus. But I'm still going to try to do my best in Korea and I'm looking for a good result… I would really be stoked with a top 10; I'd be really happy with that.”

The Aussie team is definitely one to watch in the Mogul skiing world. We’re the best we’ve ever being right now with Brit Cox and Matt Graham both leading the international ranks going into the Games.  Today’s qualifiers for both the guys and the girls are definitely on our watch list!


FOR MORE NEWS FROM THE WINTER OLYMPICS
XTM’s own Al Dower will be on the ground in Pyeongchang for the Games, cheering on the team and sending back all the news as it happens. Subscribe to our news for all the latest updates and interviews. Want the latest updates to your inbox? Sign up to receive Olympic news and athlete videos.

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