Local athletes at Sochi

Aimee Watson and her younger brother Callum Watson are the first brother/sister duo to compete at the same Olympic Games in Cross Country for Australia. Brothers Mark and Paul Gray both became Olympians in the endurance sport, but they never competed at the same Olympics.

Watson's dash to Sochi became realistic when she had a strong performances at the FIS races in Inari, Finland in November. Watson was 38th in the 5km Classic and 29th in the 10km Freestyle, scoring FIS points of 106.8 and 88.7- her best points since 2009. The next weekend she scored 91.70 points at the 5 km Classic in S. Caterina Valfurva, Italy.

Watson tackled a race every weekend from November 16 through to mid-January in order to attain the FIS point standard required for Sochi. It was a stressful wait, but in January it was confirmed that Watson had done enough to qualify for Sochi alongside her brother.

Aimee also has a twin brother, Ewan, who Cross Country skis. She says Ewan was instrumental in getting her to Sochi, backing her up over the final weeks of her qualification.

Outside skiing, Watson is also a qualified veterinarian.

Club: Cooma Ski Club

Alex Almoukov moved to Australia from Russia when he was seven and he can speak the language. Training full-time, he often returns to Siberia, Russia to train as well as locations in central Europe, Austria and Italy.

Originally a Cross Country skier, Almoukov made the switch to Biathlon in 2008, enjoying the added variety of shooting and skiing.

In 2010, Almoukov made his Olympic debut at just 19 years of age, one of the youngest in the field at the Vancouver Games.

At the Sochi World Cup in 2013, Almoukov finished a strong 33rd, earning his first ever World Cup points in the sport. He produced another one of his best performances to win bronze at the 2013 World University Games in Trentino, Italy in December, 2013.

Almoukov is coached by his father Nick who was a Cross Country competitor at national level in Russia. When not training on snow, he does a lot of running and training on roller skis.

Training base: Perisher

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