Newcastle University Snow Sports club support for Winter Olympic silver medallist SIBLINGS: Matt Graham (right) with older brother David representing Newcastle at the 2014 n University Games in Mount Buller. Picture: NUsport
PRIZE: Matt Graham (right) accepting the 2014 University of Newcastle sportsperson oft the year award from vice-chancellor Caroline McMillen. Picture: NUsport
FIST PUMP: Matt Graham flies the n flag in PyeongChang. Picture: AAP
YOU BEAUTY: Matt Graham celebrates after winning the silver medal in the men’s moguls. Photo: AAP
ACTION: Matt Graham came second and fourth during qualifying runs. Photo: AP
EMBRACE: Matt Graham of and Mikael Kingsbury of Canada celebrate after winning the silver and gold respectively. Photo: AAP
TweetFacebook Matt Grahamn silver medalist at Winter OlympicsNewcastle University Snow Sports club’s online group chat has been going off.
And little wonder why, with a Winter Olympic silver medallist now amongtheir alumni.
Twenty-three-year-old student Matt Graham, undergoing a double degree in civil engineering and business, conquered the PyeongChang moguls course in the early hours of Tuesday morning (ADST) to claim ’s first podium finish at the 2018 Games.
A two-time member of the NUSSteam at then University Games, including 2014 when awarded the University of Newcastle sportsperson of the year, Graham had plenty of support from the Callaghan club during the decider in South Korea.
READ MORE:Winter Olympics: n Matt Graham takes silver in moguls
“It was a pretty intense final andour group chat was just going off,” current NUSS member and former vice-president Rohan Clarke said.
“Every time someone fell over everyone was like yes. All that Matthas to do here is get down and he absolutely smashed it.”
On his last run Graham produced a score of 82.57 to put him in first place with three others left to complete the course.
Only Canadian Mikael Kingsbury, himself a silver medalist in Sochi four years ago and described to Clarke by Graham as the “Michael Jordan of moguls”, could better that with a “near-flawless”total of 86.63.
Despite being beaten, Clarke said“you could tell at the medal ceremony how stoked Mattwas.”
“He’s worked super hard for this and isjust a really nice guy. He’sgot every reason to be pretty arrogant and full ofhimself, buthe isn’t.
“He’s smart, handsome and obviously aworld class athlete but just really down to earth. He always makes you feel welcome and always has a big smile on his face.
“I couldn’t think of anyone who deserves asilver medal more.”
In 2014 Graham was defeated by his older brother David to the moguls title at the n University Games in Mount Buller.
Graham was born on the Central Coast and lives there when not based in the US for training or overseas for competition.
NUSS club’s other high-profile member is Kotara 26-year-old snowboarder Michaela Davis-Meehan, who contested four World Freeride Tour qualifiers last year and features on a recent Iran-based documentary calledPersian Powder.
Elsewhere for Hunter athletes at the Winter Olympics and qualifications start Thursday for Eleebana 28-year-old aerial skiier Samantha Wells while Waratah 19-year-old figure skater Kailani Craine makes her Olympic debut Wednesday week.