It was only last year that Mikayla George, 16, saw snow for the first time, but her skills have already landed the Melbournite a spot on the Australian Aerial Skiing Development Squad.
And not just that, she has been asked to act as the representative of the Australian Indigenous Alpine Sport Foundation (AIASF).
'I think it’s an amazing opportunity for me and to represent my culture would be an absolute honour. Thinking about that possibility motivates me to try harder and push myself to the limits,' Mikayla says about her goal to compete in the 2022 games.
Mikayla is no stranger to hard training, a professional gymnast since she was 2 years old, she knows discipline and hard work are the way to success.
A back injury forced her to retire prematurely at the age of 14. Shortly after, she was offered the chance to try out for a talent transfer program by the Victorian Institute of Sport, with the opportunity to become a pro aerial skier.
After taking the slopes of Mount Buller, her willpower was tested by the much more challenging mountains of Utah. But Mikayla’s dream of competing in the Winter Olympics couldn’t be destroyed, she returned to Australia more determined than ever to become the first Aboriginal athlete to partake in the games.
'I am very proud to be an Aboriginal woman and part of this beautiful culture,' Mikayla says.