Barefoot Athlete of the Year 2005



HEINRICH SAM – age 13 – South Africa

Heinrich has been competing on the International stage since he was 9 years old. He became the youngest ever skier to invert jump in a tournament at the age of 10.   He also became the youngest skier ever to land an inverted jump at a world championships and when he came back from that worlds he knew he could win the whole thing and started setting pending world records in slalom of which he has had 13 applications submitted and we are still awaiting for the outcome of the last 3.  He also broke the 8000 point barrier in 2003 making him one of only around 10 skiers in the world to achieve this and only the second ever junior.   The next year he broke the 9000 barrier and had a couple of applications for the world junior trick record submitted.   He also had a record application in that would have equalled the open world trick record 9550.


All this and he had just turned 12 years old!   He also skied in the 2004 EAME Championships and steam-rollered the field in the junior division and came 3rd in the EAME open div having to ski against a world class field of other top EAME skiers.   He also beat Patrick Wehner and David Small and the specialist slalom skiers in the open slalom final, setting a pending junior world record of 18 that was rejected as the video was not good enough.


Then came 2005 and this was what he had worked toward for 7 years.   The junior world championships on home soil and what a championships he had.    He out skied the whole field and won the overall title by 500 points and in the process set 2 pending world slalom and one world trick record and also setting a new South African junior jump record.   He now holds all 3 South African junior records: slalom 18.4, tricks 9350 and jump 22.2m.    5 years ago those scores would have beaten the open world records of the day.


He is ranked number 1 in the world for junior and number 7 for the open division.   This ranking at only the age of 12 means he will break into the top five in the open rankings and he can now ski with the big guns at the open level.   This has also made the top open guys respect and fear him as a serious contender in the open division.  He is, as far as we know, the youngest ever to compete in barefooting at the World Games; he placed 2nd in tricks at the 2005 Games in Germany.


His personality shines and he is always a pleasure to have around, a real “cheeky chappy” but always with respect for his elders and peers.   His behaviour on and off the water is always impeccable and a BIG example to others in his age group.  His favourite coach is his Dad, Eugene.  



World Junior Girls Overall Champion

World Junior Girls Trick Champion

World Junior Girls Slalom Champion

World Junior Girls Jump Champion

No 1 ranked Junior Girl in the World in Tricks, Jump and Overall for 2005

No 2 ranked Junior Girl in The World in Slalom for 2005

2005 Junior Girls Region AA Champion in all events and Overall.

2005 Australian Sub Junior Girls Champion in all events and Overall.

Set Australian records in Tricks and Slalom in the Sub Junior Girls Division

Set Region AA and Australian Records in Tricks and Jump in the Junior Girls Division