CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA – University of Alaska Anchorage Nordic skier Casey Wright fulfilled a lifelong goal when she was named to the Australian Olympic Team for the 2018 Olympic Games Thursday.

The native of Melbourne, Australia will focus on the classic sprint races with the opportunity to compete in other races including as member of the first ever Australian relay team.

“I received an email from the Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC),” said Wright. “There weren't necessarily tears involved but I am so happy words cannot express my feeling. I don't think it has fully set in just yet. The whole experience is surreal.”

“Qualifying for the Olympics was a goal I set myself many years ago,” said Wright. “I wasn't sure what Olympics I was going to go to, all I knew is that I was going to go someday. Last season was a real stepping stone for me where I made some serious jumps in my performance. It wasn't until the end of last season that it really dawned on me that qualifying for the 2018 Games was a possibility. I knew that if I was able to have a couple of good races this season I would have a good shot at being selected. Thankfully, that's what happened!”

Wright is a two-time NCAA Qualifier for the Seawolves placing 14th in the classic race at the 2017 NCAA Championships.

Wright is the third UAA alum that will compete in PyeongChang. Hockey players Mat Robinson will represent Canada and Luka Vidmar will compete for Slovenia.

“Despite what people may think, Australia actually gets snow, although only in the South East of the Country (where I am from),” said Wright. “I started skiing as soon as I started walking. My parents are avid outdoor enthusiasts and worked running school camps. As such it was normal for my family to spend the weekends in the winter xc skiing. I fell in love with the sport and eventually, as I got older, I made the progression into racing. The ski culture in Australia is much smaller than the rest of the world. We are a very tight-knit and an incredibly supportive community.”

 

“I am still trying to comprehend that I am going,” said Wright. “I am very excited to see my parents and brother who will be coming to watch in South Korea, but apart from that, I am just looking forward to the whole experience. I think walking in the Opening Ceremony will be a definite highlight.”

 

The 2018 Olympic Games start on Feb. 8th with the women’s classic sprint taking place on Feb. 13th.