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Hugo Hinckfuss is an amazing Cross Country skiier and one of the youngest athletes – ever – to represent Australia in Cross-Country Skiing at an Olympic Games.

What makes Hugo unique? Is it ability, focus, fitness, agility, or having a strong coaching team behind him?

Scots’ Director of Snowsports, Mr Clive Tanner, shares his perspective on this extraordinary Old Boy (’20) who is completely at home in the snow.

Question 1: How do you feel about Hugo’s Cross Country Skiing performances at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics?

“The College Snowsports community is so proud of Hugo’s achievement. He has become, at 18 years old, one of the youngest athletes to have represented Australia in Cross-Country Skiing at an Olympic games. As an adult, the Beijing 2020 Winter Olympics has been his Olympic debut. It was inspiring to see the genuine joy on Hugo’s face as he crossed the finish line in the short sprint last week.”

Question 2: Could you sketch a gentle timeline of Hugo’s development when he was involved with the Scots Snowsports program? 

“I have observed Hugo’s progress in Snowsports since his early days in the Preparatory School Snowsports development programs, where he demonstrated a real talent for the skill and endurance components of Cross Country Skiing. Hugo was part of the Scots team representing Australia at the 2016 International Children’s Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria. This event was Hugo’s first international competition experience.

“In 2019, Hugo won the Division 1 event at the National Championships to become the Australian Interschools Snowsports Cross Country champion. In 2020, Hugo, who was, at the time, Scots’ Vice-Captain of Snowsports (Cross Country), capped off his Junior Snowsports career by representing Australia at the 2020 Junior Winter Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland.”

Question 3: How did you identify that Cross Country Skiing could be his preferred sport?

“Hugo demonstrated the natural physique, skill level and gritty determination required for what is arguably the most demanding of all endurance sports. However, the most important component of Hugo’s journey, to date, has been his complete determination and devotion to developing his craft at both the physical and mental levels.

Question 4: The untrained eye sees a skier who simply amazes us. When you see him in action, what do you observe?

“Gracefulness. Hugo seems to glide effortlessly across the snow. This was the most noticeable observation as he crossed the finish line to win the National Championships at Mt Buller, Victoria in 2019 and, again, as he crossed the finish line in his inaugural 2022 Winter Olympic Cross Country sprint event in Beijing last week.”

Photo caption: Mr Hugo Hinckfuss (’20) at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Photo: Copyright of Olympic Information Services.

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William Elder


Mr Alan Elder was born in Scotland and migrated to Australia with his parents at a young age. He attended The Scots College for all his schooling, graduating in 1944. He played 1st XI Cricket and was a member of the College Cadet Unit. After leaving school Mr Elder studied accountancy and retained a life-long love of the College, especially the Pipes and Drums. Mr Elder never married, however the significant bequest he left will allow his Scots family to remember him through the Lang Walker Business Centre.