Bob Arnott is among the first five recipients of the Snow Australia Medal ©Snow Australia

The first five recipients of the new Snow Australia Medal have been announced, with all representing the nation at the Oslo 1952 Winter Olympic Games.

Alpine skiers Bob Arnott, Bill Day and Barry Patten, plus cross-country's Cedric Sloane and Bruce Haslingden, have been given the honour.

Oslo 1952 was only the second time that Australia sent a team to a Winter Games and the first time Australians competed on snow. 

Australia sent nine athletes in total, with four taking part in skating events.

Day, now 86, is the only one of the five athletes still alive and now lives in Wagga Wagga.

Day went on to compete at two more Winter Olympic Games, in Cortina d'Ampezzo and Sqauw Valley.

None of the other athletes appeared at another Olympics, however, Arnott did have a latest impact on skiing.

A design for the Snow Australia Medal will be finalised later in the year ©Snow Australia
A design for the Snow Australia Medal will be finalised later in the year ©Snow Australia

He spent 27 years as an International Ski Federation official and worked with American delegate Bob Beattie to develop the 'Bob Rule' for ranking skiers.

Arnott passed away in 2016.

Athletes who won a medal at World Championship or World Cup level, or who represented Australia at the Winter Olympic or Paralympic Games, are eligible to receive the Snow Australia Medal. 

The medals are being presented retrospectively by Snow Australia at present, but will be given to retiring athletes in the future.

"The Snow Australia medal will allow us to recognise and celebrate the achievements and careers of those athletes that pioneered Australia’s strong reputation on the international stage," Snow Australia chief executive Michael Kennedy said when launching the award.

"This is an opportunity to look back into our past and connect Australia’s Ski and Snowboarding elite into the present by recognising a unique alumni that forged the success of our sport."