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