After spending a few weeks at home recuperating from a busy contest season, it was time to get back on snow for some more training. I had heard about a camp run by Bud Keene who is Shaun White’s personal coach and the plan was to get out to Mammoth Mountain in California to take advantage of the late spring snow and their unique halfpipe set up.
There are a couple of tricks that I feel I needed to learn in order to have a halfpipe run that will gain me enough points to qualify for the Olympics. So the idea of this trip was to practice these tricks with the safety of an airbag (see shot above of japanese team rider Ryo Aono), and then take them into the halfpipe.
It was awesome that my sponsor Animal could help me make this all happen! I will be getting all the video footage from the trip to them soon so we can put together an edit from this trip.
Over the last few months I have been putting all my effort into trying to qualify for the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi. To get the necessary points needed to compete in the games I have been following the FIS World Cup tour which has events in New Zealand, USA, Canada, Russia and Spain.
My campaign started well down in New Zealand where I got my first top 20 result, which is one of the criteria needed to qualify (see previous blog for pics). Now I just need one more top 20 result and as long as I am still ranked in the top 40 on the World Cup list I will get to ride at the Olympics!
Things took a bad turn in Canada where I broke my wrist whilst training. It didn’t stop me riding for long but in the next event in Utah I wasn’t on top form and got a pretty bad result there. I was feeling good for the next contest in Russia and it was awesome to go to Sochi and see the Olympic venue, but luck wasn’t on my side in the contest and two falls plus two broken snowboards meant I didn’t get the result I was hoping for.
I am now ranked 41st so realise I have got some work to do to get back in the top 40. This is why I have headed back out to the States so I can spend three weeks training in a quality pipe before the next event in Spain. It’s nice to be back riding in the perfect halfpipe in Breckenridge. I am staying with all of the British team and at the moment we have the guys from Whitelines out here, so it’s been cool that they can get some shots of us training for the magazine as well as some filming for a team GB profile on www.whitelines.mpora.com