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TUDHOPE Ben
Sport Para snowboard
NPC Australia   
GenderMen
Age22
Place of BirthSydney, AUS
Height1.70 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
SB-LL2
Further Personal Information
Residence
Manly, NSW, AUS
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Higher education
Sports Management - University of Technology Sydney: Australia
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He first learnt to ski at age three before switching to snowboarding in 2009 at Mount Hotham, VIC, Australia.
Why this sport?
His parents would take the family to the snow during holidays, and he was introduced to snowboarding by his sister Annabel. "[Our] parents loved the snow when I was young and my family would always go on holidays to the snow. I love the adrenaline it gives you. You always feel pumped on a snowboard ready to do anything that comes in your way. Competing really just came with snowboarding. I didn't really set out one day and say I want to compete."
Club / Team
New South Wales Institute of Sport [AUS] / Team Unicorn [FIN]:
Name of coach
Par Sundqvist [Team Unicorn], SWE
Training Regime
He trains for three hours a day on average.
Senior International Debut
Year
2013
Competing for
Australia
General Interest
Nicknames
Benny, Tuddy (Athlete, 18 Jun 2016)
Hobbies
Skateboarding, surfing, paddleboarding, wakeboarding. (paralympic.org.au, 31 Mar 2022)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning the 2021/22 Crystal Globe as overall SB-LL2 snowboard cross World Cup champion, and claiming a bronze medal at the Winter X Games in 2016 in Aspen, CO, United States of America. (Athlete, 04 Mar 2022)
Most influential person in career
Coaches Pete Higgins, Mikko Wendelin, Lu Prem, and Par Sundqvist. (Athlete, 04 Mar 2022)
Hero / Idol
Australian Para snowboarder Matthew Robinson, Finnish snowboarder Mikko Wendelin. (Athlete, 18 Jun 2016)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
He wears 'Star Wars' socks on a race day. (Athlete, 04 Mar 2022)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"If you want something bad enough, then you adapt. No matter how much it hurts physically and emotionally." (bentudhope.com, 31 Mar 2022)
Awards and honours
In 2022 he was named Paralympian of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year at the Paralympics Australia Awards in Sydney, New South Wales. (insidethegames.biz, 10 Jun 2022)

In 2020, 2021, and 2022 he received the Paralympic Athlete of the Year Award from Snow Australia. (mountainwatch.com, 29 Apr 2022; nswis.com.au, 30 Apr 2021; snow.org.au, 12 May 2020)

He was flag bearer for Australia at the closing ceremonies of the 2014 and 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. (bentudhope.com, 31 Mar 2022; paralympic.org, 16 Mar 2014)

He was named 2019 Young Athlete of the Year with a Disability at the New South Wales Sports Awards in Australia. (snow.org.au, 19 Nov 2019)
Milestones
He became the first athlete representing Australia to finish on the podium in LL2 snowboard cross at the Paralympic Winter Games by winning bronze at the 2022 Games in Beijing. (SportsDeskOnline, 22 Sep 2022)

At age 14, he became the youngest athlete to represent Australia at the Paralympic Winter Games when he competed at the 2014 Games in Sochi. He was also the youngest athlete from any nation to participate at the 2014 Games. (SportsDeskOnline, 22 Sep 2022; Australian Paralympic Team Facebook page, 10 Feb 2022)
Famous relatives
His sister Annabel has competed on the World Snowboard Tour, while his other sister Phoebe has competed for Australia in moguls in freestyle skiing. (FIS, 31 Aug 2013; worldsnowboardtour.com, 2013)
Ambitions
To compete at the Paralympic Winter Games in 2026 and 2030. (bbc.co.uk, 24 Feb 2022)
Impairment
He had a stroke while in the womb, which resulted in paralysis on the left side of his body. (Athlete, 18 Jun 2016)
Other information
TEAM UNICORN
He is a member of the international Para snowboard training group Team Unicorn, which is based in Finland. "After the 2018 [Paralympic Winter] Games, the Finnish coach at the time, who worked really closely with our old coach, said he'd really like to take the Aussie guys. We formed a team with Finland and a guy from Canada, who came on. It is an individual sport but we have this really special connection, being part of this international team. We bring out the best in each other and it's a true kind of brotherhood. It's a great training environment [in Finland] and it's really unique. We go by the name of Team Unicorn. It came out of nowhere but it's about the fact that we come from diverse nations and are all about diversity and inclusion. So we come together and help each other, which I think is really great." (paralympia.fi, 21 Feb 2022; Facebook page, 22 Jan 2022; paralympic.org.au, 07 Sep 2021)

TRIBUTES
In November 2019 his coach Mikko Wendelin suddenly passed away, a week before a World Cup event in Pyha, Finland. Tudhope went on to win two gold medals at the event, which he dedicated to Wendelin. "Everything I do out here is for him and he's in my head every step of the way telling me what to do and how to ride. I just want to make him proud." He has also credited the influence of the late Australian Para snowboarder Matthew Robinson on his career. "I met him when I was 10 years old so it was at that crucial age of my development and I definitely learned a lot off him. He was the role model who really took me to the top level of the sport. We were teammates when I first joined the Australian Paralympic team. He was a team leader so everything that he did, we followed. He's definitely taught me a lot in my snowboarding. I love him and I love everything about him so it's great to live in his name. Every day I ride for Matty." (paralympic.org, 13 May 2020, 10 Mar 2019)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
In 2014 he began serving as an ambassador for Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Australia. (LinkedIn profile, 01 Dec 2021; snow.org.au, 19 Nov 2019)

Competition Highlights (historical)
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
10 2014/2015 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
8 2014/2015 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:32.36
9 2016/2017 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
8 2016/2017 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:10.00
4 2018/2019 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 51.33
2 2018/2019 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
1 2018/2019 Snowboard Cross Team Event  
3 2021/2022 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
2 2021/2022 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
10 2014 Snowboardcross - Standing 1:56.84
10 2018 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
7 2018 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 51.68
3 2022 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
9 2022 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:11.64
World Cup Finals
Rank Year Event Result
7 2015/2016 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:00.14
4 2016/2017 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
7 2016/2017 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
8 2017/2018 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:07.02
4 2017/2018 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:16.44
4 2018/2019 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 38.77
3 2018/2019 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
4 2018/2019 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired