Meet the 16-year-old snowboarder from a regional Australian town of just 1,900 residents who just broke an 11-year world record in a half-pipe race
- Valentino Guseli, from Dalmeny, NSW, has just broken a world record in Switzerland
- He jumped 7.3 meters during the halfpipe at the Laax superpipe competition
- Guseli is on track to become a top athlete at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics
An Australian snowboarder from a small coastal town has just set a world record held by an American legend for 11 years.
Valentino Guseli, 16, jumped 7.3 meters on the halfpipe during the Laax Superpipe race in Switzerland, easily beating the seven meters that triple Olympic gold medalist Shaun White had covered in 2010.
He set the new world record the day before his 16th birthday.
Valentino Guseli in training at the men’s half-pipe competition in Aspen, Colorado in March 2021
The new halfpipe highest world record holder Valentino Guseli, from Dalmeny NSW with snowboard coach Mike Lund
“I’ve had the idea of breaking the world record for a long time,” he said.
‘I’ve just always wanted to be as big as possible. The day was perfect and the conditions were good and we just decided to send it.
‘It’s a really great feeling. It just kind of gets empty and I just feel it. I try to hype myself, get pumped. ‘
Mr. Guseli is from Dalmeny, just north of Narooma, a small town on the south coast of New South Wales, home to only 1,900 people.
He is expected to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, although he would still be considered an outsider for a medal as the sport is highly competitive.
The number one Australian snowboarder is Scotty James, from Warrandyte, Victoria.
Considered a snowboarding prodigy, he stunned the snowboarding world on his half-pipe World Cup debut in Laax in February by qualifying first for veteran Olympians and world champions.
Mr. Guseli became the youngest person to ever perform a double backflip – which he did at the age of 11.
In 2019 he won the US Open Junior Jam in Vail, Colorado and the World Rookie Tour Slopestyle.
Altitude is an important record in snowboarding, although altitude alone does not win medals.
Scoring is based on length, difficulty, performance and style.
The highest air jumped ever was a monstrous 9.8 meters by Norwegian Terje Håkonsen in the Arctic challenge quarterpipe in 2007.