Sochi Olympic stars from The Hills

To Russia with love: Brendan Kerry skating on thick ice. Picture: Michael Santer, Ice Skater magazine.
To Russia with love: Brendan Kerry skating on thick ice. Picture: Michael Santer, Ice Skater magazine.

THE Hills are alive with anticipation, or at least they should be.

It's not every fortnight the district has two representatives at a pinnacle of international sporting competition.

It will have at the Winter Olympics starting in Sochi, Russia this week in the form of Brendan Kerry and Jana Pittman.

Carlingford figure skater Kerry iced his place by finishing eighth in the Olympic qualifying event in Germany.

He did it in a dramatic way, too, after suffering a broken wrist in the warm-up.

Pittman will become the first Australian woman to compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

The former two-time 400m hurdles world athletics champion will be the brakewoman of her two-woman bobsleigh team.

Whether she's up or down hills, The Hills will always claim the once Matthew Pearce primary school pupil, later to be long-time Bella Vista resident.

"I am not competing for a gold medal, I am competing because I love it," she said.

"We still want to do very well but the pressure is slightly different to what it was previously," — the "we" including her partner Astrid Radjenovic.

And skater Kerry's hopes?

"I'm going to be an Olympian," he said.

"I don't think it's hit me yet," he'd said after qualification.

Kerry should be an Olympian; he's bred in the purple.

Mother Monica competed at Calgary 1988 in ice dancing, and coached the 19-year-old before he moved to train under revered coach Tammy Gambill in Riverside, California at the end of 2012.

Meanwhile, Pittman may be the first woman to compete in Summer-Winter Olympics but not the first Australian.

Former Olympic sprinter Paul Narracott, who once beat Carl Lewis over 60m, was part of Australia's two-man bobsled team at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France.

"I don't think [Pittman will] have any trouble making the transition," Narracott told the Canberra Times.

"She's the ideal brakewoman to be in that sled — she's about six foot, she's strong and fast, I think she'll do pretty well."

This story Sochi Olympic stars from The Hills first appeared on Hills News.


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