It's all about learning to board on Snö

It starts…Sochi 2014…will our GBR Snowboarders make the grade?

Sochi 2014 Blog Graphic 2014 copy

As the Winter Olympics is just about to start I thought it was time to start tapping away again on my keypad. The main reason for the absence is not the continuous rain that’s covered the UK since Christmas, more I haven’t managed to get on a snowboard for a while. Grr… is my general feelings towards this fact, but on a positive note I have just bought my first house and it sits equidistant between Milton Keynes and Hemel Hempstead. Once I’ve settled in, I plan to try and get on the snow more regularly with my next big decisions being which snow centre to choose…any advice on what’s better for a newbie (in her 30’s) is always welcome!

It’s gonna be a weird one…I’ve already watched the second heat of the Ladies Slopestyle qualifying this morning…the opening ceremony isn’t until tomorrow… which means athletes can’t be eliminated ..so really it’s just for rankings…and those athletes who have already injured themselves in practice (seems like half the teams incl Shaun White who withdrew) are just cruising to the bottom for the sake of a point to progress (Ty Walker I’m talking about you)…so not really edge of your seat stuff!

Ok if I’m honest I’m beginning to get all excited and have successfully downloaded my new Sochi App where I can choose which discipline to follow and when…oh hold that thought…not quite so excited by the fact I have to get up at 5.30am on Saturday to watch the men’s slopestyle semi-finals…Billy Morgan that’s your fault!

Snowboarding….How does anyone know what’s going on

When I first started watching snowboarders last year, this was the first thought that entered my head, particularly when you watch a competition. Brilliantly summed up by the commentators at the Freeze Festival.

“Does anyone know what’s happening?”

“When the crowd goes mental…”

But have no fear…somehow the more you watch the more you understand…and the more exciting it becomes. If you like yawny ‘instructive snowboard videos’ bbc has a little guide here but I find listening to the commentators as the actions takes place much more helpful and I have to say the BBC ones this morning were actually very good and mildly amusing as they ‘discussed’ what move had just done and their score estimates were a bit meaner than the Olympic judges.

I just hope that its not gonna be like Illict snowboarding experience at the end of last season…though they did come on up with some inventive ideas to make it easier for the spectator…Snowboarding is not a spectator sport.

Doing it for GBR in Slopestyle

I’m pleased to say I have actually seen some of these boarders in action. So it makes it all the more exciting to watch them in a bigger competition. Have added a small summary of what I think their chances are.

The Boys

Billy Morgan, aged 24, Goofy.
The media seemed to have picked his name as the Golden Child of British snowboarding (or he has a very good PR team as he’s been in almost every paper)…Yes he has the potential and could be a little wild card medal hope with his gymnastics type background… I hope he makes the final of the slopestyle but the competition is fierce. He might scrape into the final but I’m not convinced there will be a medal. Will definitely be shouting at the TV for him though.

Jamie Nicholls, aged 20, Goofy.
Probably pretty chuffed he’s avoided most of the media attention, he’s been in the spot light before. I last watched this guy on hail the rail at Freeze Festival 2013, he’s a smooth and accurate rider and always seems to remain calm in the face of competition…he was noticeably better than the other boarders he was competing against and won the comp. He’s the best chance we have of a medal in slopestyle. Keeping my fingers crossed. Has an irritating sister on Gonzilla TV.

The Girls

Jenny Jones, aged 33, Goofy.
With three X Games gold medal, Jenny is certainly a favourite in the ladies competition. I’ve followed the girl on twitter since I started snowboarding (mainly because she’s not in her 20’s yet and still creates a fun viewpoint as she works her way through the season). She’s hard working and seems to just live to snowboard, a quality that sometimes gets lost in the competitive world of snowboarding. This girl should do good. I’d like to she her win a medal.

Aimee Fuller, aged 22, Regular.
Close your eyes and imagine what you think a female snowboarder would look like and the picture you create will be pretty close to Aimee Fuller, with her slightly crazy blonde hair she has nailed the stereotype. Despite that she’s a damn good female snowboarder and has a lot of potential, with a growing number of 1st places in competitions. Watching her warm up, I don’t think she’s gonna nail it, competition level a little too high. One to watch for the future. Doubtful medal winner.

For a more professional view of these guys Whitelines have a good overall biography review system here

Other ones to watch…

The Canadians: Sebestian Toutant and Mark McMorris.

Seb seems to have a string of wins behind him at only 21 years. Should be in the medals. Pretty stylish off the big jumps technically very good.

Mark is an even younger stylish big jumping, slopestyle winner. He has touches of big air magic but can be inconsistent. Only qualified into the semi-finals but should make the final if he doesn’t get distracted.

Russia’s, Alexey Sobolev. I believe he took part in hail the rail and looked pretty good, another little wild card that might just surprise the other competitors in the semi’s. Would be good to see him in the final but its touch and go.

USA’s, Jamie Anderson. Watching her in the qualifying, she was effortless and just cruised over the course, she didn’t even bother with a second run. Looking forward to watching the final.

Netherland’s, Cheryl Maas. I don’t find her personality particularly enamouring however she is a stylish snowboarder in the same way as Mark McMorris, hopefully her injury last year has healed well, she looked good on her first qualifying run and over-egged it on the second. Will be disappointed if she’s not in the final.

Despite to early start Saturday and Sunday should hold some good viewing. A looking forward to watching some of the other now sports and the snowboard cross.

Above views on athletes all my own with no intention to offend.

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