Student athletes chasing winter medals in Beijing

Danielle Scott snaps a selfie in training ahead of the Games in Beijing

All three Griffith University athletes competing in the Winter Olympics in Beijing have completed or are currently studying the same degree, a Bachelor of Communication.

The parallels don’t stop there, with Mogul skier Britt Cox, Alpine skier Greta Small and Aerial skier Danielle Scott all return Olympians and each previously suffering a major injury which ruled them out for a season.

Griffith Sports College Director Naomi McCarthy said all three were seasoned professionals and looking forward to the chance to again represent their country.

“Everyone at Griffith University is really excited to follow their progress at the Games and when I spoke to them before they arrived in Beijing, they were pumped and raring to go!” she said.

“Between them, the trio has attended eight previous winter Games, albeit competing this time in a pandemic.

Britt Cox, 25 wins Bronze at the opening FIS Freestyle World Cup in Ruka, Finland.

“I know that each of these athletes has been dedicated in their training and represents the best of Australian skiing talent.”

“I am extremely excited to be named to my fourth Olympic team,” Britt Cox said a few days out from the Games.

“I am still filled with the same excitement as I was when I was told I had qualified for Vancouver 2010 as a 15-year-old.”

While Australian Olympic team-mate Danielle Scott has now graduated from Griffith, her experience juggling her training and competition commitments with her studies is echoed by current Bachelor of Communication students Greta Small and Britt Cox. All three are doing or did their courses with Griffith through Open Universities Australia.

“Griffith University has been my golden ticket to be able to combine my academic and sporting pursuits,” Britt explained.

“I have been studying online with Griffith for my entire degree – the flexibility of this has meant I have been able to study on international training camps, at 30 000ft on aeroplanes, in airports, buses, trains, and even during competition seasons.”

“Balancing sport and study has required a lot of diligence and effective time management on my part, but thankfully Griffith has met me half-way and provided the opportunity for me to do that.”

“It is wonderful that we can help these athletes lay the foundations for a life outside sport once their representative career has ended,” McCarthy said.

Alpine skier Greta Small

“Our winter athletes train travelling the world, chasing winter, which means they need a great deal of dedication to complete their degree and support from Griffith.

“Griffith University enjoys a growing reputation as one of the country’s leading sporting universities and takes pride in its affiliations with and provision of support for many of Australia’s elite athletes.

“Last year we celebrated the 45 student and alumni athletes and staff members who proudly wore the green and gold at the Tokyo Olympics and achieved a grand total of 19 medals, almost double the number secured in Rio five years ago.

“Our Griffith Paralympians also performed exceptionally well, with our nine athletes bringing home 10 medals, including six Gold.”

The Winter Games run from 4-11 February.