As far as the UK goes for competitive snowboarding, they don’t get much bigger than Team GB favourite Billy Morgan. He picked up his first snowboard at the age of 14 in Southampton’s Alpine centre , and shot to fame in 2011 after performing a world’s first triple rodeo flip (to you and me, a triple backflip). It’s been 2 years, 6 world cups and some costly injuries, but the young slopestyle hopeful achieved his goal of qualifying for Sochi 2014 by being in the top 30 in the world whilst meeting the UK’s quota. With favourites such as Shaun White (US) and Torstein Horgmo (Norway) out of the competition, it leaves Morgan tipped to bring back the gold for Great Britain, in an event filled with tricks and huge air. Igluski caught up with him. What kind of training is involved for freestyle snowboarding? For most of the year it’s all about getting the hours in on your board, working on different tricks, filming and having fun etc. But when the days are good it’s time to get to work. I’ll try and treat the day like a competition day, get to big tricks as fast as possible, repeat them and then the time for progression presents itself. It's then that you can start to work on putting extra things on your big tricks. Do you have a favourite ski resort? I like Breckenridge to ride and Morzine or Mayrhoffen to Party. Bucket list riding location? Alaska, Japan, Park city and Jackson Hole. You were recently injured in training, how has your training changed to get back on the board? I did have a bad fall in September at a snow dome in the UK. I fully ruptured my ACL and MCL which I thought ended my route to Sochi. But I spent two months with a good team of specialists in rehab working hard every day. I got back snowboarding in December. You recently posted back to back triples on a practice at the X-games, how did the knee feel? Ahh that was a mental day, I didn't make finals but was training in case someone dropped out as I had the reserve spot. I got my run down and my coach urged me to try it. I knew I needed to at some point so gave it a wang. The knee was absolutely fine. It’s been pretty good since Christmas, just takes a run or two to warm it up haha. What do you do to relax before competition? Straight after I’m stoked to just get down the hill and jam with my friends, it all depends on where I am. I love a bit of table tennis. What are you most looking forward to at Sochi 2014? Any other events you’re keen to watch? I’m not sure what to make of it all, I’m stoked to watch the other guys on the team compete and really want to see the figure skating down in Sochi. Mad respect for that lot. Any tricks up your sleeve you’re saving for Sochi? Sadly no, I haven't saved anything crazy. Maybe I should have. Check Out Billy Morgan's Triple Rodeo, here
Post by Billy Morgan.
“Be careful about conclusions you draw about people you’ve never met. I looked at the list of people and I was like, man, are you serious? This for a month? I’m actually a bit ashamed of that”. Like most comedians, funny man and snowboarding enthusiast Marcus Brigstocke is not largely known for his frank, philosophical remarks. Many will recognise the serial satirist from Have I Got News For You or Love Actually, whereas ski and comedy fans may know him from setting up the hugely successful Altitude Comedy Festival in Mayrhofen, Austria, near Innsbruck where The Jump is set. It seems the new show is bringing out a wonderful, softer side to him rarely seen with professional comedians. Obviously inspired by his experience so far, he was keen to tell me a story about his familiarity to snow sports before joining the show. “You know I used to ski years ago, and stopped all that for snowboarding which is easier and more fun. Big spongy carpet slippers, only one piece of equipment to worry about...” “There was a day that was both devastating and awesome in equal measure. My 9 year old son worked incredibly hard all week at ski school in Val D’isere. ‘I’m gonna bring you down The Face , one of the greatest ever downhill courses. I started picking up speed, and he stayed right with me. Then I was going pretty much as fast as I can go, and he said ‘am I alright to go now dad?’ and he just shot past me. It’s devastating.” Contestants, including Essex girl Amy Childs and Olympic hero Steve Redgrave, have been training hard with Warren Smith and former Team GB skeleton racer Amy Williams. It tests celebrities on Winter sport disciplines, including downhill ski and the bone-shatteringly scary skeleton bob, in which they slide down a course head first. But scariest of all is apparently ‘the jump’ itself. “The Jump is other worldly in terms of how scary it is. If you ski, you’ve probably done small kickers or little off-piste jumps, maybe hit a mogul with a bit of enthusiasm. This is different. Your ski’s get slotted in rails, and you can’t see anything you’re going to land on until you’re above it and in the air. I’m not an adrenaline junkie or anything like that…” “When I landed it I punched the air, and as soon as I was on my own, I felt tears stream down my face. I just turned to jelly and started crying. Unlike many of the other contestants, I’m still scared of the jump in a very visceral kind of way.” “Darren Gough, Laura Hamilton and Anthea Turner are fast becoming very good jumpers. Sinitta put skis on her feet for the first time a few weeks ago, and she’s been off the jump. She’s a lovely lady, but she’s not what you think of as a daredevil, adrenaline junkie or whatever - She does it with quiet determination. Same with Amy Childs, star of reality world. She learnt to ski a few weeks ago. The first day she put speed skis on, and coach said, ‘point down, tuck down, build your speed’, and she just nailed it. The video you see of her going ‘oh my god, oh my god’ – she gets a lot better than that.” The mere thought of Sinitta or Amy Childs scorpioning themselves in the head or face-planting the snow may sound like comedy gold for some sniggering viewers. But not for Brigstocke, who seems to have taken a shine to his new group of buddies. “I’m not here to collect stories on the people here. I’ll be interested to see how facing fears affects the next few stand up shows I do.” “Stand up is about exploring ideas in a fearless kind of way, but it’s a bit different to physical danger. But yeah there’ll definitely be material, if only making reference to the race suit they’ve got me in. Not a good look for a man of my size.” To many fans of Altitude, this “new material” could make an appearance at the next festival in March. “I can’t wait. A bunch of clowns up in the mountains, jumping around on our boards during the day, jumping around on stage at night... I’m out of the business side of Altitude now which suits me better. It makes me so proud that the festival is out there. This is for skiers and comedy lovers.” It’s not been all about the laughs though on set. Any sport that instigates fear of this magnitude has an element of danger – viewers may have been disappointed to see a few rumoured contestants missing in the live show on Sunday night. “There’s a couple of injuries I can’t tell you about, because we’re not sure how It’s going to affect taking part in the show. But I can tell you we’ve had Sam Jones (Flash Gordon) have his entire shoulder rebuilt. Then we have 2 broken bones possibly 3, bruising like I’ve never seen on anybody, and a ruptured hamstring I can confirm I’m in good shape though.” Injuries aside, it seems the show has brought an otherwise misfitting group of celebrities together, in what could turn out to be a great bit of TV. I ask Brigstocke what he has learnt since starting the show; “On a serious note, fears overcome makes you feel very good and those things are worth pursuing. On a further philosophical note – be careful about conclusions you draw about people you’ve never met. I looked at the list of people, and I was like, man, are you serious? This for a month? I’m actually a bit ashamed of that. These are actually really awesome people. I’ve shared with them some profound moments of overcoming some full-on fears. Oh, and I’ve learned to skeleton bob.” …and the golden question. CAN HE WIN? “It is possible. I’m not a very good jumper. Ultimately it comes down to that. With the other disciplines, I’m in the top 3. To play for the win is not what the cool boys do. I wanna win, I wanna get to the final.” By Danny
1st-21st December 2013 Advent Magic in the Park - St Anton, Austria
Escape the Christmas rush this year and visit the picturesque resort of St Anton in the mountains of Austria instead. The start of the month saw St Anton don wonderful Christmas decorations, complete with open fireplaces and wonderful themed areas, getting visitors into the festive spirit. After a hard day out on the slopes, visitors can take part in a selection of fun activities such as designing greeting cards, indulging in delicious festive cookies and listening to recitals of traditional Austrian Christmas stories and poems. This event is perfect for adults and children alike with plenty to keep the little ones entertained – namely a festive trail and craft workshops with the resident elves!
To see our ski holidays in St Anton click here
Week 1: 14th–21st December 2013, Week 2: 8th-15th February 2014, Week 3: 29th March-5th April 2014 Ibiza Rocks The Snow – Meribel, France
Enjoy a touch of Ibiza on the slopes this winter, with the organisers of the infamous Ibiza Rocks music festival. Combine skiing and snowboarding with some wild après ski and cracking live music over the 8 day festival. The festival runs three times over the season starting on December 14th and finishing on April 5th 2014 with performances from artists such as Kissy Sell Out, Mistajam and Clean Bandit.
To see our Ibiza Rocks the Snow deals click here Igluski Blog: ‘Ibiza Rocks Is Bringing the Heat To Meribel’ For more information and to buy tickets click here
16th December 2013-14th April 2014 Kissy Sell Out - Various Resorts, France
Looking for some wild après ski? Then look no further – electro DJ Kissy Sell Out will be playing at various resorts around France this season. The tour kicks off with an appearance at Meribel for Ibiza Rocks the Snow, followed by further appearances at Les Deux Alpes, Val Thorens and Val d’Isere.
For a full list of dates and to buy tickets please visit individual resort websites. To see our ski holidays in Les Deux Alpes click here To see our ski holidays in Meribel click here To see our ski holidays in Val Thorens click here To see our ski holidays in Val d’Isere click here
21st December 2013 Synchro Ski World Cup – St Anton, Austria
Watch skiers from around the world compete in this entertaining competition in which competitors much complete each run in pairs. The full competition runs from morning till evening, beginning with qualifiers and ending with the final run.
21st December 2013 Ice Skating Gala “Les Etoiles De La Glisse” - Courchevel, France
Elegant figure skaters from around the world will gather to perform in this spectacular ice skating gala at one of our favourite resorts. Watch the performers execute graceful moves while donning wonderful costumes against a backdrop of impressive lighting effects. Perfect entertainment for all the family!
To see our ski holidays in Courchevel click here
21st-27th December 2013 Christmas, A Magical Week – Courchevel, France & Magical Xmas – Val Thorens, France
Spend a magical Christmas abroad in France this year, with plenty of festive entertainment to keep you occupied in between riding the slopes at both the Val Thorens and Couchevel resorts. There will be workshops for the little ones, live music and shows, torchlight descents and to top it all off, a visit from Father Christmas himself.
To see our ski holidays in Courchevel click here To see our ski holidays in Val Thorens click here
22nd December World Snowboard Day – Les Deux Alpes, France
Celebrate World Snowboard Day this season at the fantastic Les Deux Alpes resort. Spend 24 hours exploring breathtaking backcountry runs, carving up the slopes and trying out some jibs in the freestyle park.
To see our ski holidays in Les Deux Alpes click here
25th December 2013 X-Mas Events – Les Deux Alpes, France
Fancy spending Christmas somewhere a little different? Spend your days riding the slopes, then relax with a glass of mulled wine, a great choice of festive food and epic fireworks to wind down the day. There are also a selection of Christmas markets and a special street parade on Christmas Eve, complete with a visit from Father Christmas.
31st December 2013 Tignes Fire Mix Party – Tignes, France, Val Tho Crazy Night – Val Thorens & NYE – Les Deux Alps, France
What better way to see in the new year than on the slopes, combining adrenaline fuelled runs with wild après ski. This New Year’s Eve, Tignes will play host to the Fire Mix Party, featuring a range of top class DJ’s, fireworks and an open air nightclub. It’s time to don those thermals and party into 2014! Val Thorens will also play host to some great NYE entertainment with plans for torchlit descents, ski and snow freestyle shows, live music and fireworks to see in the new year. Finally, Les Deux Alpes will also be spending NYE in style. With a giant firework (and champagne cork!) display and plenty of lively evening entertainment, this celebration provides the perfect end to a day out in the snow.
To see our ski holidays in Val Thorens click here To see our ski holidays in Les Deux Alps click here To see our ski holidays in Tignes click here
31st December-20th February 2014 Night Carnival – Val D’Isere, France
Experience beautiful illuminations, spectacular ice carvings and comforting hot drinks between your skiing and snowboarding adventures at this winter festival in Val d’Isere. With plenty of market stalls to explore and a host of evening entertainment, you’ll never be stuck for something to do.
To see our ski holidays in Val d’Isere click here
4th-25th January 2014 Ladies First – St Anton, Austria
Take advantage of a range of wonderful off-piste skiing, ladies-only concessions and plenty of goodies during this ladies week at the St Anton resort. Some of the great offers available include one day of lessons completely free of charge if you book a ski course with Arlberg Ski School. The resort are also offering 20% discount on all ladies slopewear and sportswear. Finally ladies, pick up your special voucher book from any of the Tourist Offices around St Anton for a range of surprises and further special offers, including the chance to win a week’s summer holiday for two!
5th January 2014 Savoie Snowboard Tour – Val Thorens, France
Why not take a break from carving up the slopes of Val Thorens to watch this regional 8 circuit snowboard competition. Local competitors under the age of 20 will participate in this event which aims to promote promising new talent as well as the sport of snowboarding.
To see our ski holidays in Val Thorens click here
7th-9th January 2014 X Speed Tour – Tignes, France
The X Speed Tour is a celebration of high speed skiing and is organised by the world record speedskiier, Xavier Cousseau, who made the headlines when he achieved a top speed of 131.89mph. Watch the thrilling ski demos and if you’re up for it, then you can even have the chance to try and beat the record yourself!
To see our ski holidays in Tignes click here
12th January 2014 Moguls French Cup – Tignes, France
Visit Tignes on the 12th January for a chance to watch some spectacular skiers compete in the French Mogul World Cup. With breath taking jumps, tricks and high speed runs fins some inspiration from these talented thrill seekers!
19th January 2014 World Snow Day – Les Deux Alpes, France
January 19th plays host to World Snow Day and what better way to celebrate than with a day spent carving up the slopes at Les Deux Alpes. With a Snowboard half-pipe competition, sledging, free of charge skiing lessons and a chance to try a jump onto the Big Air Bag, amongst other things, you’d be mad not to join in! After a day spent exploring all of the adventurous activities, take some time to relax with hot wine and live music from one of the many bars on the resort.
Next month: Fun Festivals, the Freeride World Qualifier and an attempt at the World’s Longest Jump!
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