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Winter Olympics In Bronte Boy’s Sights

By Dan Hutton on December 7, 2015 in News

Photo: Matt Glas

Photo: Matt Glas

Bronte apprentice electrician Aden Roberts is about to pack his bags to chase his dream of representing Australia at the Winter Olympics in Korea in 2018.

After much deliberation, Mr Roberts decided it was a case of now or never and made the tough decision to leave an apprenticeship with Ausgrid so that he can move to the USA, where he’ll take up full-time snowboard training with an elite team at Mammoth Mountain, California.

“I’ve always wanted to be a professional snowboarder,” Mr Roberts said. “When I was younger I used to go over to the US for two months every season, as well as here in Australia, and since 2010 I’ve basically been going back and forth between Australia America during the seasons.

“After I started my job at Ausgrid in 2013 I soon realised I wasn’t really ready to pursue that career. I thought I’d give the Olympics a crack while I’m still young. I decided that if I don’t give it a go now I’ll probably regret it down the track.”

Mr Roberts’ journey thus far has not been without its hurdles. He was the victim of a serious physical assault that took place in the local area three years ago, but has since made a full recovery.

“When I was 17 I got into a bit of a fight at Bronte and a bunch of around 10 or 12 guys bashed me.

“One of them stabbed me twice in the chest and sliced me across the stomach.

“I had a punctured lung in two places and a heap of general bruising from being punched and kicked in the head and body.

“I was actually pretty lucky as it turned out. The two stab wounds were right next to my heart. The angle of impact meant that the knife missed my heart and went into my lung instead.”

Despite the extent of Mr Roberts’ injuries, it wasn’t long before he was back on the slopes.

“I didn’t surf for about two years, but I started snowboarding soon after, just not to the same level as I was previously at. It probably took a good year to get back to that level.”

In order to stay in peak condition between ski seasons here and in the US, Mr Roberts makes the most of local facilities such as Lifecycle Fitness, the skate parks at Bondi Beach and Waterloo, and the infamous Bronte Reef.

“I go to Lifecycle Fitness four times a week with a mate doing strength, stability and flexibility based training. On the skating side of things, I generally just do it for fun, but it definitely helps my snowboarding. The surfing is handy for balance too, but I do it more for fun with my mates.”

Mr Roberts hopes to qualify for the national team in the ‘slope style’ discipline, and to do so he must be one of the top four competitors in the country.

“I’ve got another year to get into the Australian team and I’m backing myself. I think I can do it, but I’ve got a way to go yet. I’ve just got to train hard, eat well and start winning some competitions.”