Jakara Anthony isn’t your average 20-year-old. The Barwon Heads local has announced herself as one of the best freestyle mogul skiers in the world. Making her World Cup debut at the age of 17, it was clear that she was destined for greatness. Although Jakara was already competing at The World Championship, it was the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games where she made her mark, finishing fourth.
Since the Olympics, Jakara has continued her impressive form, finishing second in the 2019 Freestyle Ski World Championships, third overall in the 2018/19 World Cup Tour, and – her greatest achievement to date – first in the World Cup.
'My career highlight so far was my first World Cup in Lake Placid, New York. Not only was I able to take the top step on the podium but I was able to place a significant margin between myself and second place.'
With the closest snowfield four hours away, skiing wasn’t the most common sporting pastime for a Barwon Heads resident.
'My parents met at [Victorian ski field] Mt Buller and when they had my brother and me, they decided we would go skiing for the whole winter every year.
'I started to compete in the Interschool Snowsports, where I was first introduced to moguls. It was my favourite discipline... so I decided I wanted to compete and train solely in that event.'
When Jakara isn’t collecting medals around the world, she is completing a Bachelor of Exercise Sport Science at Deakin University's Waurn Ponds Campus.
'Juggling studies and sporting commitments involves a lot of time management skills. I study part-time and fit in my university work around my training schedule.'
Jakara is also part of the Elite Athlete Program at Deakin, which offers assistance and support for professional athletes who are undertaking studies.
'I chose to study at Deakin because of its status as an elite athlete-friendly university, and its reputation as one of the top universities in the world for Exercise and Sport Science.
'They allow me to be flexible with my attendance and any assignments that I have while I am in intensive training blocks or away competing. They have also helped me to sit my exams internationally which has been crucial for allowing me to attend all training camps!'
With the pressures of combining sport and study, Jakara knows all too well the stress that comes with this juggling act.
'My advice would be to be realistic about the amount of work and training that you take on. There isn't enough time in the day to do everything and overwhelming yourself with too much work doesn't end well!'
With the World Cup currently under way, and the World Championships (2021) and Beijing Winter Games (2022) fast approaching, Jakara has her eyes on one thing: gold.
'My current goal is to continue finishing on the podium at all major events, particularly targeting the World Championships and Winter Olympics.'
Follow Jakara’s journey here!