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Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Page: 210

Mrs WICKS (Robertson) (13:50): The Central Coast is known by many for its beautiful beaches, but today I recognise the remarkable achievements of two athletes from my electorate of Robertson who are stars in the snow at the Winter Olympics and Paralympics at Sochi, in Russia. Matt Graham, from Narara, has finished an impressive seventh in the moguls. In an event usually dominated by Canada, the 19-year-old qualified for the finals in cold three-degree temperatures. He was eliminated from the medal race by finishing seventh in the second final, but by the slimmest of margins: 0.01. Matt is at his first Winter Olympics and his talent is undeniable. At the world championships last year, he placed fourth. He has been chasing his Olympic dream for most of his life, including his time at Central Coast Grammar School. The result is a credit to his determination and skill. It is an inspiring story, and the Central Coast is rightly proud of his achievements. Congratulations, Matt; you have a bright future ahead.

We also have a representative to be proud of at the Winter Paralympics. I would like to congratulate Victoria Pendergast, a talented 23-year-old from East Gosford at her first ever games. Born missing the lower part of her spine, Victoria, or Tori, will represent Australia at Alpine skiing. She has embraced the technique of sit-skiing and loves hurtling down a mountain at top speed in her custom-built sled. Congratulations to Victoria and Matt and both their families. They are superb representatives of our electorate on a world stage.