CAMBEWARRA snowboarder Amber Arazny knows more than anyone that no matter how hard you work, sometimes dreams don’t come true.
Well, at least not yet.
Arazny is recovering from a whirlwind 2014 winter Olympic qualifiers, which saw her just miss out on making the final Australian team that flew to Sochi earlier this month.
Arazny was selected in the Australian shadow Olympic team for half pipe in April 2013 but had to wait until the final three Olympic qualifiers in from January to see if she made the top five halfpipe women to go through.
Australians Stephanie Magiros, Torah Bright and Holly Crawford were well advanced in points, with Arazny and three other girls fighting for the remaining two positions. Arazny was fourth in the lead-up to the final qualifiers but needed a top 10 position to solidify her place.
The first event was in Finland for an FIS World Cup where Arazny just missed out on making the semi-finals.
Next she headed to America for a grand prix at Copper Mountain.
“The thing is with the Finland qualifier and the last one in Canada, the US team weren’t at them, and the US team usually makes up about half the field. As they weren’t at those ones, they were my best chances of getting at top 10 placing,” Arazny explained.
Despite the US team competing at Copper Mountain, Arazny still managed to finish in the top 30, and was also the first ranked Australian.
The last event in Canada was Arazny’s last chance of finishing top 10 and qualifying.
“So I was like, well, it’s now or never,” she said.
“Training was going really well before it and everything, I had got a whole bunch of new tricks so I was excited but I knew that I needed a really good result.
“I have always been doing front 540 and a backside 540 but then I was adding a frontside 720 and a can 720. You have got to be doing 720s and 900s to make the finals and have a chance.”
Arazny landed her first run, but knew that she needed to incorporate her new tricks in the second run to get the result she was after.
“Even if I did the same run and did it better and bigger, I still wouldn’t have got the result that I needed, so I thought that I might as well go for it,” she said.
“And then I fell.”
Despite not making it, Arazny had plenty of praise for her Australian teammates, especially Bright.
“She goes really big and is really clean and stylish,” Arazny said.
“As a person she is amazing, she has got her priorities sorted. She is always saying ‘it’s just snowboarding. If you fall or you don’t win, it is not the end of the world.’ She always knows how to put things into perspective.”
But the journey is not over for the 23-year-old former Bomaderry High School student.
Arazny plans to take a year’s break from the sport to focus on university, where she studying a bachelor of clinical exercise physiology.
“Maybe then I will think about doing a world cup again and then think about the 2018 Olympics in South Korea,” she said.
“I really do want to think about that. I thought that after this one not making it, I would be like ‘Oh my god that was so draining, I don’t want to go through that again the whole process.’ But honestly it just makes me want to do it more and actually make it.”
Arazny thanked her sponsors GNU Snowboards, Electric Visuals and Rojo Australia, as well as her parents Del and Alex for their support.