Sunday, 29 June 2014

Whistler

On the 21st of June I flew to Vancouver to go to Whistler for a two week camp with the British team. I always enjoy this camp because the skiing is good and the airbag training is so beneficial. The reduced risk environment means I can train new tricks without fear of getting hurt. And if things do go wrong, there is a big airbag to land on.



The first week of training was great. The weather was always perfect. Sunny and warm. It meant I was able to ski all day and then in the afternoon go to the gym, play football, swim in the lake or go skating. It is always good fun travelling up and down to the glacier when it is sunny because it is 3 chairlift rides and a bus ride. You get some really good views.






Unfortunately the start of the second week has been awful. Two days of rain up on the glacier. All the guys tried to ski the first day but since the visibility is so bad it is not worth it. Instead we all just had a day off and watched some of the football.




More photos and videos to come soon!



Sunday, 18 May 2014

Elbow Update

Last week, after a long wait I finally had the operation I needed on my elbow. It had been causing a lot of problems for me over the past couple of years so it was nice to know that it was all going to be fixed.

Unfortunately it was through in Glasgow at 7 o'clock in the morning. It meant I had to leave at 6am to get through in time. I got checked in and went up to my room. I was waiting for about an hour before getting taken down for my op.




Everything went well. It was just a clean up operation. The surgeon was taking some cartilage out the back of the joint and some release in the front. I was moving it straight away. I was walking around and almost back to normal after an hour. I had a few visitors during the day which was nice. Thankfully it wasn't too boring. I could watch tv and sit on my laptop so time went quickly. I was out by 5pm the same day.






It looks a lot worse than actually is. Once I had taken all the bandages off it and cleaned it, I only had 3 small cuts and 4 stitches. One week out after the operation everything is pretty much back to normal. I have more movement already than I had before. And I am also back in gym trying to get it back to full strength.

Hopefully I will be completely back to normal by next week.



Thursday, 1 May 2014

Season Ender

Breckenridge was my last trip of the winter and thankfully it was a really good one. I went out to have fun, relax and unwind a bit after the Olympics and that is exactly what I did. I skied a lot and still worked as hard as ever but with no pressure meant I had a blast!

Unfortunately the weather didn't hold out too much. It was typical Breck. Windy, Snowy and cloudy. Thankfully Jamie and I still managed to get a few snaps in between skiing hard!






After spending so much time in the halfpipe over the last 18 months I tried to get on the jumps and rails as often as possible(weather depending). It was such a fresh breath of air. A different side to skiing which I didn't get often so I had an amazing time. I wanted to keep away from the halfpipe so when summer camps rolled round I had a lot of drive to get back in the pipe and learn/progress.





This summer I plan to go back to Whistler for three weeks to train on the airbag and after that head to Saas Fee for a month to train on the glacier. It will be a lot more chilled out than previous summers. But I am really looking forward to spending time at home and relaxing and completely taking my mind off from skiing.






After such an brilliant season and life changing experiences I plan to go to the next Olympic Games in 4 years. So I hope to start the hard work now so I get the result I am after next time!

Thank you to everyone that has helped me get to where I am. I wouldn't be here without you!





Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Breckenridge

On the 24th of March I flew out to Breckenridge, Colorado with Josh Birch for some spring skiing. It was my first time getting back out to train and ski properly since the Olympics. As normal, I flew out to Denver and then our coach Jamie Matthew picked us both up and we drove to Frisco where we had rented a house.

I was really excited to be able to go and ski without any stress of qualification or pressure of having to do well at contests. Also just to be back skiing with my friends in the sun. Unfortunately on the first day Josh had a little misfortune and managed to break his hand on the landing of a jump. It was a spiral fracture but luckily he was told he didn't need an operation. It did mean he was going home though. Which wasn't great news as I hadn't skied with him all year really.





Even though Josh was hurt, everyone else managed to get a few good days skiing before the weather came in. It was overcast and snowing which didn't make good spring skiing. I wanted to go and ski in the sun. So we took a few days off and went to Denver and had a look around at some of the City.






Since the weather was bad and I couldn't ski that much I spent a few days in Woodward. It is a soft play area for adults. Trampolines, foam pits, skate ramps and a sprung floor. I managed to film a small edit for instagram. It is only 15 seconds worth but I am gathering footage so hopefully I can get a large edit out when I head home later on this month.



After this first small edit it gave me an idea to possibly do a few more small little clips. I really enjoyed making them with cheesy pop music and found it pretty funny. So I made another one. And hopefully there will be more to come.




Monday, 3 March 2014

Olympic Games

Thankfully I made Team GB for the Olympic Games in Russia. I was so thankful to be a part of it and all the hard work over the past 4 years had paid off. When I found out I had qualified I knew I was going to be spending the whole of February involved in the Olympic games.



I flew in and went straight to the opening ceremony. I had flown from Edinburgh to Moscow and then onto Sochi. The opening ceremony was one of the best experiences of the games. Walking into a stadium full of people cheering you on and then having some of the best seats in the house to watch that special event. It was unbelievable.




I spent a few days getting to know the athlete village and meet all the other athletes. It was strange because you are in your own bubble. You don't get to experience much outside of the games. I watched the snowboard slopestyle with some of my team mates in it. Thankfully I was at the event when Jenny Jones won her bronze medal. The atmosphere was amazing around the team after she achieved that.


After womans snowboard slopestyle was guys ski slopestyle. James Woods was in it and I was lucky enough to be invited into the commentary box with Tim Warwood and Ed Leigh. It was really cool seeing how things work and how difficult it actually is. After hearing about the complaints from a few days before I tried to wait for them to invite me into the conversation. But it is difficult to not get excited when your friends are competing. James managed an amazing run and ended up 5th. And struggling with injury that made it even more impressive as he hardly managed to train.







After that I had a small break in between some of the freestyle events. A few of us went to watch some events down at the coastal resort. We managed to watch a bit of short track skating and some curling. Curling wasn't the most exciting thing but short track was great! We went to one of the final races and Russia managed to get Gold and Silver and the stadium erupted.




Finally it was my time to compete. I had been waiting two weeks and I was really nervous. I had two days great training before so I was feeling fresh and ready. The weather didn't hold up. It was cloudy, rainy and foggy. It made for a really tough competition as the speed was terrible. All the rain had made the snow very sticky and meant that it was very slow.



Thankfully the freestyle team have a great wax tech and he managed to service my skis so they were running faster than most. Training went really well and I was very pleased. The Winter Olympics is the third biggest watched event in the world so I knew lots of people were watching. I managed to land my first run. I felt like the pressure had lifted. It was such a relief. I had done it. Made it and landed.


My second run went even better. I upped my run and got a much better score. I ended up 17th place and was absolutely over the moon. It wasn't the result I wanted but since I had landed the hardest run I had ever done on the biggest stage I have ever competed on was such a good feeling. I didn't make final but was asked to commentate again. I was a bit gutted but still really happy.

I wouldn't be where I am without so many people. Thank you to everyone that helped me. I appreciate everything you have done!





I came home and got the tattoo. Hopefully if I work hard and keep going I can make the next games!

Thanks again to everyone along the way!



Monday, 20 January 2014

The GB Park & Pipe Team

Check this out too - the first of a three part documentary on the GB Park & Pipe Team and see some behind-the-scenes footage from Colorado...

One Team To Sochi


Check out my episode from the One Team to Sochi series....

Monday, 13 January 2014

The World Cups are over!

Last week was the final World Cup Grand Prix to take place before the Olympics. It didn't quite go my way - the conditions were tough and I didn't manage to land my run. The weather was terrible which made it a frustrating event for me. All done now though, and I'm looking forward to the next competition, which will hopefully be in Russia!




I needed to stay inside the top 30 of the world rankings to make sure I was eligible for selection for Sochi. Which I managed. I was very relieved to find out I was safe. And now it is just a waiting game to find out if I am selected. The release date for the team is the 22nd of January. So not long now.





It has been a stressful year chasing points and results. Bad weather, obscure places and a hell of a lot of travelling. But thankfully now I have done all I can to go to Russia and it is just a waiting game. Regardless of if I go or not I am happy with how I have skied and feel I have progressed a massive amount. I've had a great time training and competing. Hopefully I still have the same opportunities and can keep progressing and doing well.

I will keep you updated as of the 22nd but until then fingers crossed!







Friday, 3 January 2014

Calgary World Cup!



On the 31st of December I flew from Denver to Calgary. I only had one days practice because FIS changed the dates of the event. So I booked that far in advance it was too much to changed them.

When I arrived the pipe was in terrible condition. But the first day of practice it was a lot better thankfully. I was struggling in practice. I just was not skiing to well. And throughout the whole event I didn't ski to well. But thankfully I got another good result.





The light was flat on competition day and it didn't help the halfpipe being constantly in the shade. There was a slight delay during the event because the sun was right in the judges eyes so they couldn't see much. I managed to land my first run. It wasn't the best run I had done. I had a lot of problems with my first 3 hits. But I managed to get to the bottom and get a reasonable score. I was in 9th after my first run. But then I dropped to 13th. I was still really happy as it is my best ever finish and I also think it's the highest placing any British halfpipe skier has had.




As you can tell by the photo I was happy that I landed my first run. Unfortunately my second run didn't go according to plan. I butt checked on my last hit and it was a much cleaner run. So I was pretty frustrated. But I guess these things happen. I still have a lot to work on and I also want to add a few more tricks. possibly 2 if I can.

Still really pleased on my result and being the highest placing British male skier. So hopefully the next World Cup in Breck goes my way as well. It is another step closer to selection which is good!