David Morris (skier)

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David John Morris
David Morris Sochi Silver Medallist in Australian yellow podium jacket.jpg
David Morris, Australian Aerial Skier and Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games Silver Medallist
Personal information
Born (1984-08-31) 31 August 1984 (age 34)
Melbourne Australia
Height171 cm (5 ft 7 in)
Weight67 kg (148 lb; 10.6 st)[1]
Websitewww.aerialskier.com
Sport
Country Australia
SportFreestyle skiing

David John Morris (born 31 August 1984) is an Australian Olympic aerial/freestyle skier who competed in both the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. He is Australia's most successful male aerial skier, having competed across FIS World Cup, World Championships and Winter Olympic competitions. He was selected to represent Australia at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. He is the first Australian male aerial skier to compete at two consecutive Olympic Games,[2] and the first Australian Medalist in the Olympic Men's Aerials.

Life of David John Morris[edit]

Morris was born in Melbourne, as were his parents and siblings. He has a younger brother and younger sister. Morris attended two primary schools: St. John’s Primary School, Mitcham and Our Lady of The Pines, Donvale and completed his secondary education at Whitefriars College, Donvale. David also spent 3 years in Denmark with his family from 1995–1997, he attended Rygaards International School.

After having to defer parts of his tertiary studies many times due to commitments with training and competing overseas, he graduated from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2011 with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Physical Education) with Honours 1st Class.

Much of his life has rotated around sport. At about four years of age he commenced a lifelong passion for gymnastics at the Nunawading Gymnastics and Sports Club[3] (NGSC, formally known as the Nunawading Youth Club) and he learned to ski at age three. He has demonstrated capabilities in cricket, diving and football but has always returned to gymnastics and from there to aerial skiing.

Morris is a supporter of the Carlton Football Club in the Australian Football League and is a member of the Melbourne Cricket Club.

He is a qualified Mathematics and Physical Education teacher and, when he is at home between training camps and competitions, occasionally works as an emergency relief teacher at Whitefriars College, Donvale. He also coaches gymnastics, cheerleading and trampoline and is in demand as a motivational speaker.[4]

Autobiography[edit]

Morris released his self-published autobiography "SECOND NATURE - The Making of a Professional Athlete" in December 2014 following his Olympic silver medal performance in Sochi 2014. A detailed and personal account of his journey and struggles to become the only male on the Australian Aerial Skiing Team. In it he describes his experiences and the valuable lessons he learned in becoming a world class athlete. His book is available in Australia through his website www.AerialSkier.com/biography

Early aerial skiing career[edit]

Morris' talent for acrobatics and his potential to become an aerialist was originally discovered while working as a gymnastics coach at NGSC, by Kirstie Marshall, former Australian World Champion aerial skier, who was the local State Member of Parliament at the time.

Since Australia did not have a program for male aerial skiers, Marshall volunteered to coach him on weekends in the basics of aerial skiing and when she was expecting her second child, she enlisted the help of former Australian male aerial skier Jonathan Sweet,[5] as a personal coach until Morris was ready for private training overseas.

Competitive performance[edit]

Australian Aerial Skier David Morris at the 2014 Lake Placid World Cup Event. Lake Placid, New York City.

Morris won his first medal (a Silver) in an International Skiing Federation (FIS) race (USA selections) on 20 December 2007 in Park City and has gone on to become Australia's most successful male Aerial Skier, finishing the 2012/13 season ranked second in the World Cup standings. He has achieved a number of wins in various FIS Competitions. He was the first Australia Male Aerial Skier to win a World Cup gold medal, and in doing so he became Australia's most successful male Aerial Skier.[6] He would later go on to win a Silver Medal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, becoming Australia's first male aerial skier to do so.

Competition No. of medals No. of times competed Best single result Best overall season result
FIS Races 3 9 2nd n/a
NorAm 4 16 1st (twice) 4th (2007/08 and 2008/09)
Europa Cup 3 6 2nd 10th (2012/13)
World Cup 5 39 1st 2nd (2013/14)
World Championship 1 4 3rd n/a
Winter Olympics 1 2 2nd n/a
  • Results as per the FIS, Source:[7]

2010 Winter Olympics/Olympic debut[edit]

Australian Aerial Skier David Morris at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada

Morris' performances led to his selection in the Australian Olympic Team[8] for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada, where he finished in 13th position.[9]

He was the first Australian male to compete in aerial skiing at the Winter Olympics for 12 years. During the Vancouver 2010 Games, Morris was coached by Jerry Grossi[10] who formerly competed in aerial skiing for the USA.[11]

Injury and comeback[edit]

In the 2010/11 competition season Morris injured his hip during a competition in Calgary, requiring surgery and a long recuperation. As a result, he stepped out of competition during 2011/12 and re-evaluated whether to continue in the sport. He used this break from the sport to complete his much deferred university course.

Having come to the view that he still had more to offer, Morris concentrated on regaining his fitness through gym work and recommenced competitive aerials in 2012/13. His come-back season in 2012/13 proved to be his best ever with two podium finishes, including 1st place in Bukovel, Ukraine.[12] His win was broadcast in Australia on Eurosport.[13]

Morris was selected to compete for Australia at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.[14] He remains the only internationally competitive male aerial skier in Australia at any level and is therefore ranked 1st in Australia.

2014 Winter Olympics[edit]

Sochi 2014 Men's Aerial Skiing Medallists. Anton Kushnir (Gold), David Morris (Silver), Jia Zongyang (Bronze)
Morris at the 2014 Australia Winter Olympic Team Reception, Sochi, Russia.

Morris was one of 60 members of the Australian Winter Olympic team in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.[14] He competed in the Men's Aerial Skiing competition held on 17 February 2014, winning the silver medal.[14] He was coached by Cord Spero and Eli Budd. [15] Morris was also elected to be the flag bearer for the Australian team at closing ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.[16]

Awards[edit]

Apart from his sporting achievements and Olympic Silver Medal, Morris has also received various other honours and awards, including:

– 2014 Ski and Snowboard Australia Athlete of the Year, Joint winner with Torah Bright.[17]

– 2014 Sir Wilfred Kent Hughes Award: Awarded by the Victorian Olympic Council.[18]

– The award for "Senior Sportsman of the Year" at Whitefriars College in 2014 (David's high-school) has been named in his honour.

– 2013 Ski and Snowboard Australia Aerial Skiing Athlete of the Year.[19]

Current statistics[edit]

As at 11 September 2015, Morris is ranked 30th in the world based on FIS points.[20] At the most recent Olympics, the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, he qualified[20] 3rd in the Olympic Winter Games selection rankings. Morris finished the 2013–2014 Aerial Skiing World Cup season in 6th place.[21] He has yet to compete in a subsequent World Cup season. He holds the Australian Record for the highest point score of 247.91 at the Lake Placid World Cup on 18 January 2013,[22](registration required) and the second highest point score of 242.93 at the Val Saint-Côme Freestyle skiing World Cup on 12 January 2013, for two consecutive jumps in an international competition.[23]

Training[edit]

David Morris Aerial Ski training at Utah Olympic Park, Park City, Utah. Credit to Peter Morris and David Morris

Morris travels extensively to the USA, Canada, Switzerland and Finland to train, jumping on snow during winter, and into water during warmer months. Morris is coached by Joe Davies and Jeff Bean, who formerly competed in aerial skiing for Canada. He has also benefited greatly from periodic coaching assistance by Michel Roth who is the Swiss Head Coach but is generous with his help for all athletes in aerial skiing. His coach at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games were Cord Spiro and Eli Budd.

Morris is well known on the competition circuit for his willingness to assist others and work with athletes from other countries, to further develop the sport of Aerial Skiing. He is an avid maker of on-line videos, which he posts on his website and YouTube Channel, that help to explain and showcase his sport. He also has a Facebook fan page where he posts pictures and videos of his aerial skiing and training activities, to help inspire others to achieve their sporting best.

References[edit]

  1. ^ David Morris Sochi 2014 Australian Olympic Committee profile
  2. ^ Filmer, Natalie (14 November 2013). "Park Orchards skier David Morris preparing for Winter Olympics in Sochi". The Herald-Sun. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  3. ^ "Monday is Morris Night... as David Claims Silver in Sochi". Nunawading.gymnastics.org.au. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  4. ^ "About VCE help". Vcehelp.com.au. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  5. ^ "Australian Olympic Committee: Jonathan Sweet". Corporate.olympics.com.au. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  6. ^ "Morris creates history | Sochi 2014". Sochi2014.olympics.com.au. 24 February 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  7. ^ "MORRIS, David – Biographie". Data.fis-ski.com. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  8. ^ "Vancouver 2010: David Morris". Vancouver2010.olympics.com.au. 12 September 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  9. ^ "Olympic Results". Sports reference.com. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  10. ^ "Mogul Skiing – Jerry Grossi – Sochi 2014". Owia.org. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  11. ^ "Jerry Grossi – Biography". fis.ski.com. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  12. ^ "Spur of the moment decision creates history". Owia.org. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  13. ^ "David Morris Wins Bukovel, Ukraine Aerial Skiing World Cup, YouTube".
  14. ^ a b c "David Morris – Sochi 2014". Sochi2014.olympics.com.au. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  15. ^ "Olympic success for coach Cord Spero". dailyheraldtribute. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  16. ^ "Sochi 2014: David Morris to carry Australian flag at Olympic Winter Games closing ceremony". ABC News Australia. 23 February 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  17. ^ "Bright, Morris win top gongs". Australian Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  18. ^ "Honour Roll". Victorian Olympic Council. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  19. ^ "Chumpy Wins Athlete of the Year". Australian Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  20. ^ a b "Cup standings". Data.fis-ski.com. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  21. ^ "Cup standings". Data.fis-ski.com. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  22. ^ "World Cup – Men's Aerials 18.01.2013". Data.fis-ski.com. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  23. ^ "World Cup – Men's Aerials 12.01.2013". Data.fis-ski.com. Retrieved 18 February 2014.

External links[edit]