NSWIS park and pipe athlete Kent Callister has finished the World Cup season with a 20th place performance in the US Grand Prix event in Mammoth Mountain, California, USA.
Callister finished his heat in ninth position, just missing out by one place on the top eight required to progress to the final.
Having competed in four of the five events on the FIS Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup tour, Callister has finished the season ranked 13th on the standings.
NSWIS teammate Emily Arthur unfortunately was unable to compete in Mammoth due to a shoulder injury.
IMAGE - The Mammoth Mountain Halfpipe
The unstoppable Scotty James has capped off an incredible season this weekend, winning gold at six out of six events.
It was at the Burton US Open Snowboard event at Vail, CO, USA that James completed "the perfect season", taking out his sixth halfpipe gold medal for 2018/19 with a score of 92.00.
James credits missing out on first place in the semis, with inspiring his most recent gold-winning run.
"I wanted to ride my snowboard the way I do, I was able to do that and I am over the moon," he said.
"It's been an amazing season and coming up second in the semis put a fire under my butt and I didn't like finishing there."
Scotty James finishes the season with wins at The Dew Tour, X Games, US Grand Prix, Laax Open and the US Burton Open, as well as a third consecutive FIS World Championship title, an unprecedented feat as the first-ever snowboarder to do so.
Of winning his third-consecutive world title, the Melbournian said he couldn't believe it.
“I was pinching myself when I won my second world title, and now I’m triple pinching myself that I’ve won my third. It’s amazing."
NSWIS two-time Olympian Kent Callister also made the 10-man final, finishing ninth overall.
Impressive 13-year-old young gun Valentino Guseli placed 19th in the men's open event, after a spectacular win in the Junior Jam, which qualified the NSWIS Park & Pipe rider for the open competition.
IMAGE - Scotty James celebrating his sixth win of the year in Vail at the US Open © blattphoto
NSWIS Snowboarder Kent Callister has recorded his fourth straight top-10 of the season at the FIS World Cup Halfpipe event in Calgary, Canada.
Callister qualified for finals in eighth place, with a best score of 75.75 which came in his first run.
Unfortunately in the final, Callister was unable to put down a run, finishing at the back of the 10-man final.
Also in action for Australia was NSWIS teammate Emily Arthur, who finished in 12th place, just missing finals.
The next World Cup event for Callister and Arthur will be in Mammoth Mountain, California, USA, on March 9th.
IMAGE - Kent Callister boosting out of the Calgary Halfpipe © FIS Snowboard
Favourite Scotty James has taken out his third consecutive World Championship title, setting down an early unbeatable run at Park City today.
A year to the day (AEDT) since James led the Australian Team into the PyeongChang Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony, the VIS Athlete blew away his competition to claim an unprecedented third straight title, becoming the only male in history to secure the feat in halfpipe.
During his first run, the PyeongChang 2018 bronze medallist scored a whopping 94.25, which remained unobtainable for his competitors throughout the finals, but not for James, with the triple Olympian going one better and putting down a jaw-dropping 97.50 in run three.
Japan's Yuto Totsuka claimed silver with a score of 92.25 and Patrick Burgener from Switzerland took the bronze at 91.25.
James commended the calibre of the competition and said winning his third World Championship crown was a surreal experience.
"I was pinching myself when I won my second world title, and I'm triple pinching myself now that I've won my third one, it's absolutely amazing," the 24-year-old said.
"The level of riding was incredible, I was on my toes, I knew those last two guys behind me had a lot in them to pull it together so I just wanted to land that run and do it the way I wanted to, so I'm over the moon," he finished.
Fellow Aussie and dual-Olympian Kent Callister finished in fifth place with a score of 79.00, which was a personal best finish at the World Championships for the NSWIS rider.
The win continues an incredible unbeaten season for James, which includes gold at the X Games and championships across Europe and North America.
James will continue his undefeated run into his next competition at the US Open event in Vail, CO, USA, on March 2nd.
Also in action for Australia at the World Championships was 2018 Olympian Emily Arthur, who finished in 18th place.
The undefeated reign of Scotty James continued on the weekend with the 24-year-old taking out the Winter X Games Superpipe title, his fourth win from as many starts this season.
James broke his snowboard in a training mishap just before the event, but that didn’t stop him from bouncing back and putting down a gold-medal winning second run which included a backside double 1260 and a switch backside 1080 to score 94 points.
Sunday’s win was James’ second X Games victory in three years after he claimed the title in 2017 and finished runner up last year.
James’ win is even more remarkable given his challenging preparation.
"I had a pretty horrible practice, which was really messing with me a little bit," James told the Aspen Times.
"I broke my snowboard and I hadn't done all my tricks yet or finished the run that I wanted to do.
"I was able to get up and get one more run in, but it was a new board, so it was a little bit hard for me to figure it out. It was a pretty dramatic set-up into the competition but I was stoked I was able to pull it off."
Japan’s Yuto Totsuka finished second with a score of 90.00 and America’s Danny Davis rounded out the podium with a top score of 83.66.
Like his Laax World Cup win from the weekend before, James used his final run of the competition to ride down the side of the pipe and high-five the fans.
“I came here tonight and everyone is riding so well, so I didn’t expect anything,” James said.
“So to come out with a victory lap at the end is a dream come true. To have X Games medals, I’m just so grateful.”
Taking the victory the day after Australia Day, James thanked all his Aussie fans in the crowd and supporting him from back home.
“Huge shout out back home to everyone in Australia! I’ve said it so many times but I’m just a kid from Warrandyte that had a dream. Everyone back home, and my brother at the top of the pipe, and my family in the crowd today, everyone just believed in me and I surround myself with like-minded people. Australia got behind me and so did Aspen and everyone else here today!”
IMAGE: Scotty James biting into his X-Games Gold Medal © Scotty James Instagram
The unstoppable Scotty James collected his third straight win of the season, clocking up a massive score of 95.75 to take gold at the Laax Open in Switzerland.
James defeated Japan’s Yuto Totsuka (92.00) and USA’s Jake Pates (85.50) with his massive opening run, before riding down the sides of the halfpipe in his final run and high-fiving the cheering crowd.
It was the 24-year-old VIS athlete's first victory at Laax.
“The Laax Open was an event I’ve wanted to win for a while, and to do it under the lights in front of all these fans makes it extra special,” James said.
“I’ve been working on that run for a while and it’s nice to put it all together.
“The switch backside riding, I really enjoy it and it’s a big element of my run. I’m trying to keep it technical but also keep the amplitude up and hopefully look like I’m enjoying myself while I’m at it.”
James is now sitting in top spot on the 2018/19 Halfpipe World Cup leaderboard with 2000 points, ahead of Totsuka at 1760 points and previous leader, Jan Scherrer in third place with 1560 points.
NSWIS rider Kent Callister also performed well, advancing through to the final and finishing in ninth place, his second top-10 performance of the season.
IMAGE - Scotty James celebrates another victory in Laax © FIS
PyeongChang 2018 bronze medallist Scotty James has started the new Snowboard World Cup season off with a bang, winning gold at the opening Halfpipe World Cup in Copper Mountain on the weekend.
After heading into the final ranked third, James put down a blistering score of 96.75 in his third and final run of the day to secure the victory ahead of America’s Toby Miller (94.00) and Chase Josey (90.25) in second and third.
The Copper Mountain World Cup was the first event for the 24-year-old VIS athlete since he won Olympic bronze in February. James said he feels like there is less pressure on him this season, and he's feeling really positive.
“It was an amazing feeling today, there are so many good riders, everyone really showed up and I really had to come out swinging on the last run,” he said.
“Last year I came into this event and qualified first so there was a lot of pressure, but I feel really good this year.
“I don’t really mind where I qualify at all, on the day I just want to show up. I’m feeling better than ever, so it’s a really nice place to kick off the season.”
While the World Cup points are important, James’ big goal for this season is a third World title at the 2019 World Championships in Park City, Utah in early February.
“I’m looking forward to the World Champs. It is my title to hold onto and it would be number three for me, so that would be really exciting, I just hope I can get it done.”
James’ Aussie teammate and dual Winter Olympian Kent Callister also qualified for the final, placing 9th. PyeongChang Olympian Emily Arthur finished 13th in the women’s event, that was unsurprisingly won by PyeongChang gold medallist and three-time Copper Mountain World Cup victor, 18-year-old Chloe Kim.
Scotty James capped off his standout performances in the sporting arena in 2018 by taking out the prestigious VIS Award of Excellence at the event last night in Melbourne.
The function was held at Carousel on Albert Park Lake and was attended by over 300 VIS athletes, staff, partners and stakeholders. It recognised and celebrated the outstanding sporting achievements of VIS athletes from a year which brought us the PyeongChang Winter Olympic & Paralympic Games and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Six main awards were presented including the coveted Award of Excellence, the Para Athlete Award, 2XU Rising Star Award, the Sarah Tait Spirit Award, the William Angliss Personal Excellence Award and the very special Frank Pyke Achievement Award. In addition, a Coach Award is given to one athlete in each Tier 1 sport who is most deserving within this calendar year.
Award of Excellence:
The Award of Excellence, the pinnacle of VIS Awards, honours the athlete who has achieved outstanding sporting results at major events during the year, while contributing to the promotion and development of their sport and/or made a significant contribution to society beyond pure sporting performance. This award has been previously won by notable champions such as Catherine Freeman, Lydia Lassila, Cadel Evans, Mack Horton and Dylan Alcott.
At the age of 23, Scotty created history as the first Australian male to win a snowboard Olympic medal at PyeongChang 2018. A consistent performer, the 2016 & 2017 World Champion, came away with the bronze medal for Australia with a top score of 92.00 in the Men’s Halfpipe final.
He only narrowly missed out on the title by putting a hand down on his last trick, a switch backside 1260, which is the most technical trick in the sport and never performed at an Olympic Games before. American snowboarding legend Shaun White claimed gold with an untouchable 97.75 and Japan's Ayumu Hirano finished second with a score of 95.25 in the best Halfpipe final the Olympics has ever seen.
Scotty was recognised for his leadership by being named Australia’s flagbearer for the Olympic Opening Ceremony. He is an active role model and mentor within his sport as well as a great ambassador for winter sports and the sporting community. He has played an active leadership role within the newly structured National Park & Pipe Program which targets young athletes with potential to be medal contenders at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
Scotty has also recently been working closely with the OWIA and Mt Buller to secure the best possible National training facility for Halfpipe here in Victoria. He has spent considerable time and effort to try to bring this to fruition and has gladly volunteered his time and effort to assist with this project.
Unfortunately, Scotty was unable to attend the event due to his training schedule in Europe, but his Mum Celia and sister Rebecca, accepted the award on his behalf. However, in true Scotty-style, the loveable boy from Warrandyte prepared this unique acceptance message;
Frank Pyke Achievement Award
Australian Paralympic great and one of the longest serving VIS scholarship holders, Don Elgin, was presented with the very special Frank Pyke Achievement Award, recognising him for not only his athletic achievements, but for his work outside of the sporting arena.
Being born without the lower portion of his left leg was no barrier for Don - he represented Australia in Para-athletics at four World Championships, three Paralympic Games, two World Cups and a Commonwealth Games.
Throughout his sporting career, Don was a regular motivational speaker and facilitator in a vast array of organisations and was very active in the community holding several board and voluntary positions.
After competing, Don put his leadership skills to work as an Australian Team Manager at the 2011 World Athletics Championships and was a section manager for the Australian Athletics Team at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
The Sarah Tait Spirit Award, presented by Gatorade:
The Sarah Tait Spirit Award, named after the late rower Sarah Tait, was presented by former VIS athlete and Olympic silver medallist Matt Ryan to resilient rower, Fiona Albert. Like the Award’s namesake, Fiona is an inspiration in life as well as rowing and is a fantastic role model to athletes, both past and present.
Fiona sustained a severe back injury in 2017 which required surgery. Despite this and other challenging personal? setbacks, she has shown courage, commitment and persistence to regain selection on the Australian Rowing Team. She is busy chasing her dreams as a successful lawyer in estate planning, and is driven to compete at a second Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020.
William Angliss Personal Excellence Award:
Milly Tapper was presented the William Angliss Personal Excellence Award for her academic achievements while competing at the highest level of her sport of table tennis. Milly, who created history as the first Australian to compete in the Olympic and Paralympic Games at Rio 2016, won Australia’s first table tennis Commonwealth Games gold medal on the Gold Coast in the women’s singles TT6-10.
In 2018, Milly also completed a Diploma of Conveyancing and was heavily involved in the VIS Community Programs as part of VIS Tours and the BeFit. BeWell. schools visit program. In her spare time (!), Milly works as the Office Manager at Coolabah Law Chambers and is a friendly face on VIS Reception.
Para Athlete Award:
The Para Athlete Award was presented to Para-cyclist Alistair Donohoe, who was crowned World Champion for the fourth time in his career at the 2018 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Italy. Donohoe claimed the gold medal by completing the six lap 81.6km course in 1:51:20 to edge out Ukrainian Yehor Dementyev by 24 seconds.
After the disappointment at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, Alistair encountered several personal hurdles. He faced his challenges in the most inspiring and brave manner and bounced back to career best form in 2018. He was thrilled to receive the accolade at last night’s event.
2XU Rising Star Award:
Following the exciting announcement that 2XU are the new Official Apparel and Corporate Uniform provider of the VIS, 2XU’s General Manager for Global Custom wear, Ben Smith, presented the Rising Star Award.
The 2018 award was presented to talented teenage cyclist Kelland O’Brien. At 19-years of age and only just old enough to represent Australia at senior international level, O'Brien combined with Alex Porter, Sam Welsford and Leigh Howard to smash the Men's Team Pursuit World Record on their way to Commonwealth Games victory at the Anna Meares Velodrome on the Gold Coast in April.
Unfortunately, Kel was unable to attend the event due to his training and competition schedule, but his parents and sister attended on his behalf.
VICTORIAN INSTITUTE OF SPORT AWARD WINNERS 2018
2018 Award of Excellence – Scotty James
2018 Frank Pyke Achievement Award – Don Elgin
2018 2XU Rising Star Award – Kelland O’Brien
2018 Sarah Tait Spirit Award, presented by Gatorade – Fiona Albert
2018 Para Award – Alistair Donohoe
2018 William Angliss Personal Excellence Award – Melissa Tapper
COACH AWARDS 2018
Aerial Skiing – Gabi Ash
Athletics – Claire Keefer
Cycling – Alistair Donohoe
Diving – Emily Chinnock
Golf – David Micheluzzi
Men’s Hockey – Nathan Ephraums
Women’s Hockey – Aisling Utri
Netball – Allie Smith
Rowing – Ria Thompson
Sailing – Tayla Rietman & Lachlan White
Shooting – Laetisha Scanlan
Swimming – Jessica Hansen
PyeongChang medalists Simon Patmore and Scotty James were today named finalists in the AIS Sport Performance Awards in the Male Athlete of the Year category, with Patmore also named a finalist in the Para-Performance of the Year.
Patmore alongside Kurt Fearnley have been named as finalists for both the Para-Performance of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year in the AIS Sport Performance Awards (#ASPAs), the annual celebration of Australian high performance sport.
Para-snowboarder Simon Patmore etched his name into the history books in 2018, becoming the first Australian to medal at a Winter and Summer Paralympics. Patmore became Australia’s first gold medallist at Winter Paralympics since 2002 when he took gold in the Men’s Snowboard Cross SB-UL at PyeongChang. Patmore also claimed a bronze medal at PyeongChang in the Men’s Banked Slalom SB-UL. His achievements were more remarkable given his switch from athletics, where he had claimed a bronze medal in the men’s 200m at the 2012 London Paralympics.
Triple Olympian Scotty James (Snowboard) contested one of the most hotly contested Olympic finals in the Snowboard Halfpipe, where he claimed bronze behind American legend Shaun White. James also claimed silver medals at the X-Games and World Cup in Snowmass USA, named Australian flagbearer for the opening ceremony to the Winter Olympics.
Finalists in the Para-Performance of the Year are:
All winners of the AIS Sport Performance Awards (#ASPAs) will be announced at a black-tie function at The Star, Sydney, on Thursday 13 December 2018.
Finalists are being announced this week in all other categories for the AIS Sport Performance Awards (#ASPAs), including: female athlete; emerging athlete; coach; leader; team and; high performance program.
The AIS, in partnership with ABC Grandstand, has also launched a public vote to determine the ABC Sport Personality of the Year and Best Sporting Moment of the past 12 months.
ABC Grandstand is the media partner for the AIS Sport Performance Awards and Australians can vote at aisawards.abc.net.au from now until 5pm AEDT on 9 December, 2018.
At the annual and glittering national sporting night of nights in Melbourne, snowboarder Tess Coady was among five of Australia’s most promising athletes to be awarded a Sport Australia Hall of Fame 2019 Scholarship and Mentoring Program scholarship.
17-year-old Coady, a double World Junior Champion in Big Air and Slopestyle in 2017, was cruelly struck down by a training accident at PyeongChang on the eve of her Olympic competition but now sees the past eight months as a ‘blessing in disguise’.
Fresh from the excitement of the Gala evening at the Crown Palladium in Melbourne on Thursday, October 11, Coady is more energised than ever and looking forward to working with her mentor and Olympic gold medallist, Nick Green OAM from the Oarsome Foursome.
“Nick is such a legend. I got to meet him a couple of weeks ago. He’s a really cool guy, and he introduced me to some Australian icons at the Gala,” Coady recounted.
“I met Layne Beachley and Wendy Botha, which was sick because they are so cool and super women in surfing. And Shane Gould – that was so great because we’ve been watching Survivor because of Lydia (Lassila).”
“They were all super friendly, down to earth people. Of course, I knew about them, but they wanted to know about me. I had such a great time chatting to them. They were interested to hear from me and really reinforced how beneficial this scholarship is.”
It has been a tough eight months for the Junior World Champion as she struggled to come to terms with a lost Olympic opportunity, yet, as she says, the benefits of this year will stand her in good stead.
“To be honest, it took me a bot of time to see the benefits,” she said of her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in February at PyeongChang.
“It’s been a blessing in disguise. I’ve stepped back and reviewed the past after being forced to take time off and to appreciate everything. Especially as this is my Year 12. What if I’d have been riding at the same time?”
“I have been empowered to go to the gym and that’s been really good.”
With VCE exams beginning at the end of October, Coady is already looking ahead to the northern hemisphere winter – bar the maths exam on her 18th birthday on November 2.
“From mid-November I will be amping up my intensity in the gym and really trying to do everything I possible can to be strong and confident.”
“It looks like I will back on snow in mid to late January.”
Between final exams and gym, Coady plans to make the most of her scholarship and the mentoring with Nick Green. Mostly, it’s about wisdom – and that’s an uncommon trait for a teenager.
If the reaction to her scholarship is anything to go by and the ethos that is inculcated into our collective national sports psyche that honours the past, celebrating the present and embracing the future – then it is personified in young sports people like Tess Coady.
“I think I’m going to get a lot of wisdom from Nick. He has been to a lot of games, including winters. I really just think from his perspective and his knowledge that he’s going to be able to provide me with some rich technique – the little one percent things that make the difference, the mindset of competition and how he can pass that onto me.”
SAHOF brings together Australian sporting legends, inducts new members and annually awards ‘the Don’ to an athlete who has surpassed all in their field. This year, that award went to wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley AO, who delivered a memorable acceptance speech. (here)
The scholarship program is designed to help young Australians reach the highest levels of their sport, by providing encouragement and funding over a 14-month period.
The five athletes chosen for 2019 include Olympic snowboarder Tess Coady, Paralympic distance runner Jaryd Clifford, rising rower Giorgia Patten, promising diver Cassiel Rousseau and motor racing prodigy Cameron Shields.
Coady will receive one-on-one personal mentoring from Olympic Rowing gold medallist Nick Green OAM who is a member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, plus a $5,000 sporting expenses grant.
She only began competing internationally in 2017, winning the double Junior World titles in big air and slopestyle and was the youngest member to qualify for the for the Australian 2018 Winer Olympic Team. She was also recognised as the NSW Institute of Sport Young Athlete of the Year.
“It is a great privilege to be able to pass on some of my knowledge to Tess,” Green said. “Having teenage daughters of my own, I know that I will be able to listen to Tess and support and guide her growth as an athlete.”
Ski and Snowboard Australia CEO Michael Kennedy also praised the Melbourne teenager.
"Despite suffering a bitter setback when she injured herself in training at the Olympics in Korea, the manner in which she handled that disappointment and has committed herself to her recovery and to her sport shows exactly the kind of character required to be a champion,” he said.
“We are excited for Tess’s future and particularly the opportunity for her to be mentored by an Australian sporting champion as part of the SAHOF mentor program.
Since the introduction of the Program in 2006, 76 scholarships across 34 sports have been awarded, with 20 past and present scholarship recipients recently represented Australia at the 2018 Winter Olympic & Paralympic Games and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games where past recipients captured six golds, seven silvers and one bronze medal.
Established in 1985, 2018 marked the 34th edition of Australian sport’s night of nights to perpetuate Australia’s rich sporting heritage, whilst promoting the values of courage, sportsmanship, integrity, mateship, persistence, and excellence, all underpinned by generosity, modesty, pride and ambition.
You can follow Tess Coady on Instagram tess_coady or on twitter @Tess_Coady
By Belinda Noonan
Ski and Snowboard Australia (SSA) has today named a team of 16 for the FIS Junior Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships 2018 that will take place in Wanaka, New Zealand from 24 August - 8 September 2018.
Australia has a proud record at the Junior World Championships and will be looking to bring home a swag of medals as they take on the top nations from around the globe.
The FIS Junior World Championships will form part of the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ which returns for its sixth edition in 2018.
Held at the impressive Cardrona Alpine Resort, the competition will feature freestyle ski and snowboard Big Air, Halfpipe and Slopestyle for both disciplines, Ski Cross, Snowboard Cross and Snowboard Parallel Slalom and Parallel Giant Slalom.
SSA Performance Pathway & Program Manager Benjamin Wordsworth said FIS Junior World Championships provides valuable experience for junior athletes to step up onto the international stage.
“I’m really happy with the team we’ve selected, across all the disciplines… I feel we have a strong side who’ll be able to match it with the best in the world.
“This is an important event in our performance pathway as it provides our young athletes the opportunity to compete on the world stage and gauge where they’re at against the top young athletes.
“Australia has experienced a lot of success at the Junior World Championships. Many of our top athletes like Scotty James, Alex Pullin and Jarryd Hughes, to name a few, all represented Australia at the Junior World Championships and have gone on to represent their country at the Olympic Games, senior World Championships and World Cups.
“We certainly believe the team we have assembled have the ability to achieve podium finishes when they line up Cardrona later this month,” said Wordsworth.
Congratulations to the following athletes selected in the Australian Team for the FIS Junior World Championships:
Park & Pipe
Freeski & Snowboard Big Air: 22 – 26 August 2018
Ski Cross & Snowboard Cross: 24 – 28 August 2018
Freeski & Snowboard Slopestyle: 27 August – 1 September 2018
Freeski & Snowboard Halfpipe: 31 August – 4 September 2018
Snowboard Parallel GS & Parallel SL: 4 – 7 September 2018
For tournament website visit: https://www.wintergamesnz.kiwi/the-games/
SNOWBOARD HALFPIPE: Triple Olympian Scotty James has won Winter Olympic bronze after laying down a best score of 92.00 in the men's Snowboard Halfpipe finals at Phoenix Snow Park.
Donning his iconic red boxing gloves, the two-time World Champion went into his final run in third place behind American rival Shaun White on 94.25 and Japan's Ayumu Hirano who held the top spot with 95.25.
While James couldn't improve on his score, White won gold in the last run with a whopping 97.75 to claim his third Winter Olympic gold medal ahead of Hirano.
"Us three, I guess we've kind of made ourselves unique from the rest of the field but especially at an Olympics like this, on any day it can be anyone's game," Scott said.
"We came out, all three of us, [and] delivered what we wanted to do."
"It was an amazing day and I came out expecting a really good fight and that's exactly what it was. I just wanted to come out and ride really well, I only get one time every four years to do so in front of my country and that's what I did so I'm really grateful for that.
"I've had a crazy couple of seasons standing on a lot of podiums but this one is very sentimental and I get to fly the Australian flag as high as I can."
The 23-year-old was 11th to drop into the pipe in the first final run and carried his best score with him through the event, scoring 81.75 and 40.25 in his final two runs.
"I was working on something [in my final run] but I'm a big believer in fate and it wasn't meant to be today," he said.
The reingning world champion said that he and White thanked each other at the end of the event, adding that while he had hoped for gold he was "very happy with being on the podium."
"As much as there is this big rivalry and there will continue to be, we've actually brought the best out of each other in our riding and our personalities. It's just really cool to be a part of this and it was a good fight."
The bronze medal run saw James pull off a frontside double cork 1260 into a backside 1260. He then went into a frontside 1080 and a cab 540 before finishing off with a switch backside 1260.
"I've never had a special talent," he continued.
"I just wanted to make a change in the way that I approach my sport, my life, everything but honestly it was just the will to come out. I was sick of finishing at the back of the field, I wanted to put in the work and just make it happen and I've done that with an amazing team around me.
"Myself, my coach and my team -- we all know exactly what I've got to do to solidify my spot at the top for the next decade in snowboarding."
With the US Open in March, James added that he's looking forward to heading home to Australia.
"I miss Australia. I've been working so hard over the past two years or four years -- however long I've been snowboarding now -- and I really miss being home," he said.
"I'm going to do what I need to do here and then I'm going to go home to Australia and see everyone that's been supporting me and celebrate with those people who said that I could [do it] from the start."
Fellow Aussie Kent Callister finished with a best score of 62.00 in 10th place.
"[My runs] didn't go the way I had planned them to but I still had fun," he said.
"It's a good contest, it was going off like a fish milkshake and I was just happy to be in it having a good time so I'm walking away happy, pleased, safe -- it's good.
"Just didn't have enough to pull it off. It happens sometimes, everyone has their days and unfortunately it wasn't mine. It's ok though, I'm looking on to the next one."
The dual Olympian made a comeback after his first throwaway run left him in 11th place on 20.00 points.
He said that he was "super happy" with his second Olympic appearance at PyeongChang which had gone off "like a frog in a sock, two wombats in a hessian bag, it was all happening."
"There was serious tricks, serious amplitude and I was just happy to be a part of it," he said.
"I was just focusing on myself and just riding as best as I can, trying not to worry about anyone else and I'm happy with how I did.
"Maybe the next one I can keep up with these guys."
SNOWBOARD: Moments after securing his Olympic bronze Scotty James was immediately thinking about how he could use his success to help the next generation of Aussie snowboarders.
James hopes that young athletes back home in Australia will now be motivated to put on a snowboard and fly just as high as he did in PyeongChang.
“I’m just a kid from Warrandyte that’s worked so, so hard to get to where I am,” the three-time Olympian said.
“I want to go home and see all the kids of Australia and share my story with them and let them know that it is possible.
“At the end of the day my biggest goal is that I want to put snowboard halfpipe on the map in Australia, there are so many things I want to achieve and this is just the start.
“I want to create avenues for kids of Australia to be able to do what I did in the pipe.
“I’m really excited to be able to do that.”
One way that James believes the next generation could be in a better position to excel would be to have halfpipe in Australia.
“That would be absolutely amazing.
“All the competitions that I am doing are all opportunities to make my dreams a reality which would be to have a halfpipe in Australia.
“That would be amazing so that I could be nearby to home and train instead of heading overseas to find pipes all year round.
“Not only for me though for the kids and for their future.
“I’m open to having them ride and train with me. I want to share my knowledge and ensure they get the same opportunity as any other kid around the world.”
James carried the Australian flag at the Opening Ceremony and has continued to prove a leader both on and off the snow in PyeongChang.
Jess Rich has narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Snowboard Big Air women's finals after placing 13th in Monday's qualification runs.
While the 27-year-old has had a turbulent 18 months, enduring both a broken back, broken collar bone and a ruptured ACL, she said she got everything that she had hoped for in her Olympic debut - two clean runs.
"It was a surreal experience," she said.
"Definitely wasn't what I planned and so having to deal with a lot of things in the lead up definitely made it challenging.
"I didn't know if I was actually going to make it so the fact that I was able to just drop into the jump today is a huge thing for me.
"I had to play with the cards I was dealt and I had to choose the tricks that work for me and my injury and the fact that I put them down is the one thing I wanted.
"I did better than I thought. To be up against all those women that are riding their best, to come 13th ... I'm stoked."
With only 12 progressing through to Friday's finals, the 27-year-old missed out by just 2.00 points.
Rich sat in ninth position after her first run having scored 73.50 however higher scores by her competitors in the second run through meant the snowboarder had to score 76.25 to progress - she landed cleanly but it was only good enough for a score of 74.25
Austria's Anna Gasser finished first with a best score of 98.00 while Japan's Yuka Fujimori and Reira Iwabuchi were ranked second and third scoring 94.25 and 92.75 respectively.
Having not recieved medical clearance to compete in the women's Snowboard Slopestyle, Rich has spent every day since arriving to PyeongChang in the gym to realise her Olympic dream.
"There was definitely a chance that I wasn't able to compete.
"They definitely could've said I wasn't strong enough but I had a really good support crew over here and trainers and physios that were working with me night and day and we got there. I think that they're just as stoked as I am to be here.
"Even in the Village, I've been joking that I'm on a fitness camp because everyone's been going off to do their events and I've been waking up and going to the gym at 6AM."
Not only was it Rich's Olympic debut but also Big Air's.
"I honestly don't think there could have been a better show. It was perfect weather for us and you really got to see how crazy these women actually are and what we do every day and I hope everyone can get behind it and see how cool it is."
The Olympian will now return home to Australia for surgery but said she has her sights set on Beijing 2022.
"A lot can happen in four years," she said.
Jess Rich has finally received the news she’s been waiting for.
The 27-year-old has been given medical clearance to make her Olympic debut in Snowboard Big Air on Day 10 of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Rich’s Olympic dream was thrown into jeopardy last month when she ruptured her ACL during training in Colorado, and although she won’t be competing in optimum form, she has been given the all clear to compete in event’s Olympic debut.
Rich said it was a “surreal” feeling to finally get sign off from Australian Team medical staff.
“A wave of relief came over me. I have worked so hard for this and finally I get my shot to live my dream,” she said.
“It is a significant injury that will require surgery once I have finished my event, but I am lucky that I had an amazing group of people around me that were so supportive and willing to put in the hard yards with me to get me back to this point.
“There was a lot of sweat and tears but I’m amazed at what our bodies are capable of.
“It has taken me a few tries at the [medical clearance] test but I’ve finally passed and have a lot of confidence in my knee.”
The Sydney-sider, who competes in both Snowboard Slopestyle and Big Air, made her World Cup debut in 2015, six months before she scored her first top-10 result with eighth in the slopestyle Olympic Test Event in February 2016.
While she did not receive medical clearance in time for the slopestyle event, she heads into next week’s Big Air with two top 10 Big Air World Cup results from this season and a world ranking of 13th.
While things haven’t quite gone to plan on her Olympic journey, she is stoked to be here doing what she loves.
“It has been a really hard 15 months for me and it definitely wasn’t a smooth ride here.
“Obviously my goals have changed after my injury and I’m not as competitive as I would like to be due to all the time I have had off snow.
“My goal now is to land the tricks I do and just to enjoy being at the Olympics.”
The extreme event of Big Air will make its Games debut at PyeongChang 2018 and according to Rich spectators can “expect big tricks, big falls and big smiles!”
“It’s going to be mental. There is so much talent in this pool of girls and I’m so excited to be there to watch what happens.”
Women’s Big Air qualifiers are on Day 10 (February 19), with finals on Day 14 (February 23) at the Apensia Ski Jumping Centre.
Emily Arthur has finished 11th in her Winter Olympic debut in the halfpipe at Phoenix Snow Park.
The 18-year-old gave it her all but just couldn't land her run as competition favourite Chloe Kim of the USA won gold ahead of China's Jiayu Liu and USA's Arielle Gold.
Arthur had her best score in her opening run with a 48.25 before scoring 9.25 and 25.00 in her remaining two runs.
"It was amazing," said the Youth Olympic silver medallist.
"All of my family is here, it was so fun and I can't wait to do another one."
On her final time down the pipe, Arthur laid it all on the line as she attempted a backside 540, a trick she had never completed before in competition, midway through her run.
The young gun was extremely close to pulling it off but went down, hitting her head before making her way down the middle of the pipe and receving medical attention at the end of the run.
"I took a bit of a crash at the end of my third run but I'm so happy to be here.
"I pulled through and I'm still alive and I'm sure I'll be back on the snow in a couple of days.
"I'd never done that trick in comp before and I'm sure it would have paid if I'd landed it but I'm still happy."
Arthur had progressed through yesterday's qualification with a score of 66.50.
She was one of five Australians to win a Youth Olympic medal in Lillehammer 2016 when she claimed silver behind now Olympic Champion Chloe Kim.
World Champion Scotty James will be joined by compatriot Kent Callister in tomorrow's halfpipe final at Phoenix Snow Park.
James put down a solid first run to score 89.00 before turning it on in the second and final run of today's qualifiers.
The 23-year-old looked strong as he scored 96.75 to finish behind only one competitor - the USA's Shaun White who scored a near-perfect 98.50.
Callister was the final athlete through to the final having improved on his opener of 66.75 in his final run, scoring 77.00 to make it through to his second Olympic final.
Australia's other competitor in the event Nate Johnstone scored 62.25 and 10.25 to finish 22nd overall and not progress to the final.
Recent X-Games gold medallist Ayumu Hirano of Japan had the third highest score overall with a 95.25 on his second run.
James and Callister will be joined by all four USA representatives (White, Ben Ferguson, Jake Pates & Chase Josey), three Japanese athletes (Hirano, Raibu Katayama & Yuto Totsuka) as well as Jan Scherrer of Switzerland and Peetu Piiroinen of Finland.
Australia’s female snowboard halfpipe riders are ready to bring their all to the PyeongChang Olympics qualification round on Day 3 of the 2018 Games.Debutant Emily Arthur said three solid days of training at the Phoenix Snow Park venue had put her and teammate Holly Crawford in good stead for the competition.
“I’ve never had three days of training before an event and it was really nice (because) the first day we could just get used to the pipe and the next two we did our tricks,” she said.
“It’s been a really good lead up and I think it’s going to be a really good event tomorrow.”
Both women will compete in the snowboard women’s halfpipe qualification round from 1.30pm local time (3.30pm AEST).
They’ll compete in a field of 24, including World Cup overall leader Chloe Kim (US), and 2014 Sochi Olympic bronze medallist Kelly Clark (US).
Yet her competitors do not intimidate Arthur. At the Olympic Test Event in PyeongChang in February 2017, Arthur finished 10th, while Crawford placed 13th. More recently Arthur claimed sixth at the Secret Garden World Cup in China in December.
“It’s really similar to how the pipe was last year so hopefully we can replicate if not do better on last year’s results,” Arthur said.
“It’s the best pipe I’ve ever ridden and I’ve ridden a lot of pipes.
"It was weird going into it because…I’ve literally never ridden a pipe that’s so perfect so it’s going to be great.”
One slight difference is the length of the pipe – at 265m it is longer than many other pipes giving athletes an added opportunity to throw tricks and secure more points from the judges.
Arthur said she had figured out the timing of her hits and was looking forward to a fierce competition from tomorrow.
“I’ve figured it out… The amplitude is good, I’ve been able to spread out my tricks and I think it’s all turned out fine,” she said.
“I try not to watch too much but I watch my friends and my friends are all riding really well.
“Girls’ snowboarding has come a really long way in the past four years and I think it’s going to be a really good show tomorrow.
“We’re all going to be throwing down and it’s going to be a bit of a battle but it’s going to be good.”
The women’s qualification round will be held at 1.30pm local time on Day 3 (February 12) and the men kick off on Day 4 (February 13).
PyeongChang has produced the ‘best halfpipe ever built’ according to Australian riders.After today’s first training run at the Phoenix Snow Park, the Australian team of five were incredibly pumped with the pipe.
“This halfpipe is amazing, I think this is the best pipe ever built so the level of riding will go through the roof,” Kent Callister said.
“It should be the best contest to happen yet.”
The 22-year-old said it was great to get out on the snow after arriving in South Korea several days ago, and that the atmosphere among the Australian Team was relaxed, but excited.
“The Team’s great, the vibe’s great. Everyone’s just having fun messing around, cheering each other on.”
Team veteran Holly Crawford agreed that the pipe was fantastic.
“If anyone does complain, I’m not sure how they can make it better,” she said.
Crawford, who will make her fourth Winter Olympic appearance in PyeongChang, said she had a less conventional lead up to the 2018 Games than most athletes.
“I opted for a couple of weeks at home getting a tan instead of injuring myself as I have in the past so the tan’s keeping me nice and tight,” she said.
“It’s been a really good day of training and hopefully the next couple of days will be better and the sun will come out a bit more.”
For Australian flagbearer Scotty James, it was a welcome return to the South Korean snow.
After winning last year’s Olympic test event (the 2016/17 World Cup closer) in PyeongChang with a score of 96.00, the 23-year-old is eager to replicate the result.
“This is a pretty awesome halfpipe, straight as an arrow – the sides are really straight and good transitions.
“(The pipe) was everything and more that we all expected. Last year we had an awesome time here… I’ve always had a really good time here in Korea, I can’t wait to get back in the next days and get into competition.”
Women’s snowboard halfpipe qualifications will be held on Day 3 (February 12) and men’s qualifications are on Day 4 (February 13) along with women’s finals.
The world’s eyes were on Korea on February 9 as the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games officially commenced with a spectacular display of Korean culture.
The PyeongChang Olympic Stadium played host to an estimated 50,000 people for the official Opening of the XXIII Winter Olympic Games.
As is Olympic tradition, the Parade of Athletes was led by Greece which was then followed by other delegations in alphabetical order according to the Korean alphabet.
Snowboard Halfpipe World Champion Scotty James led his fellow Australian athletes from seven different winter sports into the stadium during the ceremony to the tune of Korean pop songs.
The 23-year-old, who is set to compete in his third Olympic Games, was completely taken aback by the experience.
“It’s hard to put into words,” James said.
“What really stuck with me was the camaraderie between the Team before we walked out.
“We had the Aussie, Aussie, Aussie going before I got the flag and it was really exciting.
“After all that happened I’m now really excited to use that energy for the rest of the Games.”
With a lot of attention always being on the flagbearers’ technique, James handled the pressure of showcasing the Aussie flag to all those watching in the stands and at home.
“I did not practice but I did look up some past flagbearers and got some pointers from them.
“There was a natural breeze but I did really enjoy waving it myself as well.”
A flurry of colour, lights and dance helped warm up the athletes and those in the stands and despite the temperature still hitting below zero, the conditions were much more pleasant than the week leading in.
The Olympic Torch, which has travelled 2018 kilometres from Olympia and has been passed through the hands of 7,500 torchbearers, eventually was handed to dual figure skating Olympic medallist Yuna Kim who set the Olympic cauldron alight.
For 12 of the Aussies marching into their first Olympic Games, the Opening Ceremony was an experience they will never forget.
“It was insane, there were so many lights, you couldn’t even see anyone,” Snowboard Halfpipe Olympic debutant Emily Arthur said.
“Scotty did a very good job, we were struggling to keep up with him there for a bit but he led us very well and I was proud to have him in front of us.
“I’m excited to go out there in competition, put a run down and have fun. I just want to enjoy the whole experience, it’s big to be here but it’s just another event so it’s going to be really exciting.”
Over the next two weeks 51 Australian athletes will compete across 10 sports including: Alpine Skiing, Bobsleigh, Cross Country Skiing, Freestyle Skiing, Figure Skating, Luge, Snowboard, Short Track Skating, Skeleton and Speed Skating.
You can follow all the coverage from the PyeongChang 2018 Games, live and free on Channel 7.
PYEONGCHANG 2018: Snowboard Halfpipe World Champion Scotty James has been named Australian flagbearer for tonight's night’s PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony.
Given the prestigious honour from Team Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman, James will lead the Australian delegation into the Olympic Stadium in what are likely to be pleasant conditions in the Korean snow city.
The 23-year-old from Warrandyte in Melbourne who will compete in his third Olympic Games in a matter of days could not hide his excitement.
“I am absolutely overwhelmed and honoured to have been given the opportunity to carry the Australian flag,” James said.
“Especially at this Olympic Games where I am accompanied by such an outstanding Team full of amazing athletes it is extra special.
“When Ian told me I was immediately lost for words. This Team has so many awesome athletes in it to even be considered was exceptional.
“From a young age I’ve always wanted to do it and now I will have the chance.”
Alongside fellow 2017 World Champion Britt Cox, James was given the opportunity to wear the green and gold at Vancouver in 2010 as a spritely 15-year-old looking for experience more than for a medal.
These days James is revered as not only a global superstar but also as a leader amongst his peers on the Australian Team. He now hopes he can lead by example both on and off the snow.
“Carrying the flag is a great responsibility and I will be flying our flag at the Opening Ceremony but also throughout the Games.
“We all want to show the world just how amazing we can be and I’m going to use the energy I get from being the flagbearer to urge me on even more in my competition.
“I competed at my first Games when I was 15 and walking into that stadium this amazing feeling comes over you and you realise why you put in all the hard work.
“I haven’t tried to think too much about what that moment will be like tomorrow but I’m focused on not getting the flag all tangled when I’m waving it.”
Chesterman has been leading the Australian Team since the 1998 Nagano Games and knows a flagbearer when he sees one.
“Scotty James is an exceptional athlete that epitomises that Australian fighting spirit whenever he goes out to represent his country.
“He is a very proud Australian and now at his third Games is a leader amongst this Olympic Team.
“I know Scotty will do his country proud tomorrow night and throughout these Games both on and off the snow.”
James claimed the 2017 World Championship crown in Sierra Nevada, Spain, and has just continued to grow in confidence ever since.
Duelling with Shaun White in December, James’ run was recognised as one of the most progressive in history before ‘The Flying Tomato’ dropped in and scored a perfect 100.
James then turned it up again to claim X Games silver less than a fortnight ago as Japan’s Ayumu Hirano pipped him for the gold.
He will be one of 91 athletes to carry the flag out onto the soon-to-be hallowed grounds of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Stadium on Friday night (AEDT).
You can follow all the coverage of the Opening Ceremony, and the rest of the PyeongChang 2018 Games, live and free on Channel 7.
The Opening Ceremony starts at 10pm AEDT.
Three-time Olympian Holly Crawford touched down in Korea on Tuesday for what is set to be her fourth Winter Games appearance at PyeongChang 2018.
The 33-year-old Snowboard Halfpipe rider, who already has one gold and two silver World Championship medals under her belt, recently finished seventh at the final pre-Games Halfpipe World Cup in Laax, Switzerland.
After competing under an injury cloud at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Crawford joked upon arrival that heading into PyeongChang she was “thankfully uninjured for the first time in a few years”.
“[I’m] obviously hoping to make the finals but it is what it is and you never know what the outcome is going to be,” she said.
“The pipe actually up there was really good, we were really pleased with that they put up for the test event. They managed it quite well so hopefully they put it on again.”
A seasoned snowboarder, Crawford said that she’s not feeling the nerves heading into the upcoming Games.
“It is what it is,” she said.
“We all compete all year round against the same people.”
Arriving shortly after was fellow teammate and Sochi Olympian Nate Johnstone who also finished within the top ten at the Laax World Cup.
“I’ve been in Japan doing some training and hanging out with my dad for the last week so it’s been really nice and I’m looking forward to it. I’m stoked to be here,” the 27-year-old said.
“I’ve got pretty much the whole family coming this time around so it’s going to be exciting to see them all there.
“Now I’ve got new family because me and my wife have married so her dad, mum and brother are all coming over so it’s going to be the full clan over here for this one – it’s going to be fun!”
Snowboard halfpipe will be held at the Bokwang Snow Park with women's qualifications on Day 3 (February 12) and finals the folowing day. The men’s qualifications runs are on Day 4 (February 13) and the finals on Day 5 (February 14). Find out more about snowboarding at PyeongChang HERE.
With a run that would have secured him Olympic gold at Sochi 2014, Scotty James has won X-Games silver with a massive score of 98.00
It took an almost perfect score of 99.00 from Sochi silver medallist, Japan’s Ayumu Hirano, to clinch the X Games title in Aspen today.
Dual Olympian James was out to defend his 2017 title at his seventh X-Games appearance, and with his famous red boxing gloves on it was all business for the 23-year-old from the first run.
The 2017 World Champion opened with a perfect frontside and backside 1200 to take an early lead with a score of 96.00. However with three athletes from the small 10-man invitational field scoring above 90 in the opening round, it was still anyone’s game.
19-year-old Hirano went into the lead after the second run with a 96.66 before a massive third and final run saw the two-time X Games medallist put down a virtually untouchable score of 99.00 in what commentators said “was the greatest halfpipe run ever done” in X Games.
If anyone was to top Hirano’s run, it was Aussie James. But even with a perfect run just weeks out from his third Olympic Games at PyeongChang, James’ impressive 98.00 fell one point short of the top spot of the podium and American Ben Ferguson claimed bronze also with an impressive run which scored 95.00 points.
With commentators saying today was the “greatest pipe final they’ve ever seen”, the men’s snowboard halfpipe competition in PyeongChang is set to be one of the most highly anticipated events of the Winter Games next month.
PYEONGCHANG 2018: Tess Coady and Jessica Rich will make their Olympic debuts at PyeongChang 2018 in the snowboard disciplines of slopestyle and big air.
With quota places for snowboard slopestyle and big air being calculated as one event, the duo have the option to compete in both or one discipline.
17-year-old Coady won back-to-back Junior World Championship titles in both slopestyle and big air at the 2017 event in Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic and with a current world ranking of 5th in slopestyle and 22nd in big air, will aim to compete in both events in South Korea.
“It feels pretty crazy to think soon I will be able to say that I am an Olympian,” Coady said.
“It has been a dream of mine since a young age to go to the Olympics but I never knew what sport I would go for. If someone told me when I was eight years-old that I would be going to the Olympics at 17 for snowboard slopestyle I would have laughed.”
The rider from St Kilda, Victoria, will make her Games debut fresh off Australia’s first ever slopestyle World Cup medal; bronze from the Snowmass event in January.
Coady is the youngest member of the 2018 Australian Olympic Winter Team and says she looks to the more experienced athletes for guidance.
“Chumpy Pullin has always been someone I have looked up to from a really young age. His mental game is so strong and it shows in his riding, I think he is really hungry for this Olympics,” she said.
“Scotty James is always super fun to watch especially these past two seasons he has been on a roll and his attitude towards competing is really inspiring.
“The Team that is going is a super cool group of people and I think there will be really good vibes and lots of support for everyone competing and I can’t wait.”
27-year-old Rich has been selected in the 2018 Team subject to medical clearance. Rich is bouncing back from a knee injury but is still determined to wear the green and gold on the slopes of Bokwang Phoenix Park, having chosen to focus solely on the slopestyle event.
The Manly-local burst onto the international scene two years ago when she placed eighth at the Olympic Test Event in PyeongChang in February 2016.
After signing her first professional contract with the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia in 2016 she has recorded four top-10 World Cup performances.
The women’s snowboard slopestyle event will be held at Bokwang Phoenix Park with qualification on Day 2 (February 11) and finals on Day 3 (February 13). The big air events will be held at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre with qualifications on Day 10 (February 19) and finals Day 14 (February 23).
Find out more about snowboarding at PyeongChang 2018 HERE.