Scotty James, fresh off last week’s gold medal at the Copper Mountain World Cup, has claimed his second title of the season, taking out the Dew Tour Snowboard Modified Superpipe.
The competition in Breckenridge, Colorado, USA, saw 10 of the best snowboarders in the world compete, with James scorching the field with 93.33 on his first run.
This years Dew Tour course featured a modified superpipe, with competitors required to hit a jump before the halfpipe and navigate a hip jump after the pipe.
Behind the VIS rider on the podium were American athletes Chase Josey and Toby Miller, who also finished behind James last week at Copper Mountain.
IMAGE: Scotty James going massive in Breckenridge © Dew Tour
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
SNOWBOARD HALFPIPE: With seven previous Olympic Games and 22 World Cup and World Championship medals between them, the five athletes selected to represent Australia in snowboard halfpipe at PyeongChang 2018 know what it takes to be the best.
Triple Olympian Holly Crawford will compete at her fourth Games, looking to improve upon her best Olympic result of eighth at Vancouver 2010.
The 33-year-old has one gold and two silver World Championship medals under her belt and recently finished 10th at the 2017 World Championships in Sierra Nevada.
"After a long and bumpy road I am mostly relieved to have officially made the 2018 Olympic Team," Crawford said.
"It is less the Olympic Games itself and more the journey to get there that shapes an athlete. By the time you’re at the Olympics most of the hard work is already done and you just have to let yourself do what you’ve trained to do.
"I am very proud to have been able to represent Australia at the previous three Olympics and every four years I am prouder than the last!"
She will be joined by two-time World Champion and Crystal Globe winner Scotty James.
With two 21st place halfpipe finishes from Vancouver and Sochi, plus a 16th place in snowboard slopestyle from 2010, James said his previous Olympic experiences have made him better prepared for his third Games.
“Having been to two Games and with the benefit of many more international competitions under my belt, I now understand what I have to do to achieve my goals,” the 23-year-old said.
“For me, representing my country in the Olympic Winter Team is the greatest honour that I have ever achieved. I really feed off the support that we give each other as Aussie Team members and the support that we receive from all over Australia.”
Sochi Olympians Kent Callister (22) and Nathan Johnstone (27) will return to the Team for their second Olympic experience.
Callister was the surprise packed of Sochi 2014, finishing ninth as the top ranked Australian in a star-studded field. Johnstone wasn’t too far behind, missing the final by one place to finish 13th on debut.
“I’m very excited to be heading to my second Olympic Games,” Callister said.
“I had a blast riding in Sochi so I’m looking forward to the whole Olympic experience at PyeongChang. I feel very grateful to be going to the Olympics again so I’m going to soak it all in.”
The only debutant in the halfpipe team, Emily Arthur, has also had her fair share of international experience.
The 18-year-old won halfpipe silver at the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games and placed 15th in snowboard slopestyle.
She recorded a career-best result at the 2017 Secret Garden World Cup in December, qualifying for her first final and finishing in sixth place. She heads into her debut Games with a world ranking of 13th.
“Being selected is the most insane moment of my life!” Arthur said.
“I've wanted to go to the Olympics for as long as I can remember, it's always been in the back of my mind growing up that maybe one day I could go, and I can't believe it’s now a reality.”
Arthur said it will be a dream come true to make her Olympic debut alongside athletes she has admired for years.
“I look up to the older girls on the Australian Team so much, they have really taken me in and been so amazing to me! They are the girls I looked up to when I was young and still do, I know they are going to look after me and definitely make the experience so fun.”
Crawford's advice to all the rookies on the Team is to "be proud and confident in the work they've put in."
"Trust in your ability, we all train and compete all year round and your body knows what it is doing so just let it. Most of all enjoy the ride and take it all in, you’ve earned it!"
Snowboard halfpipe will be held at the Bokwang Snow Park with qualifications on Day 4 (February13). The men’s final is on Day 5 (February 14) and the women’s final is on Day 11 (February 20). Find out more about snowboarding at PyeongChang HERE.
The team of Mitchell Allen, Andrew Burton, Ben Mates, Torah Bright and Holly Crawford made Australia’s snowboard halfpipe Olympic debut at Torino 2006. Bright has won Australia’s two snowboard halfpipe Olympic medals, with gold at Vancouver 2010 and silver at Sochi 2014. Find out more about Australia’s Olympic snowboard history HERE.
Scotty James has claimed silver at the Halfpipe World Cup finals in Snowmass, Colorado following what was described by commentators as the “most impressive event in the history of Snowboarding”.
After spending much of the day at the bottom of the leader board with American gold medallist Shaun White, the 2017 World Champion dropped into the pipe for an exceptional final run which would see him receive a best score of 96.25.
Japan’s Yuto Totsuka finished the day in third place with 94.50 while a perfect score from White saw James finish second.
“It was a long day, a lot of nerves,” the 23-year-old said.
“The switchback twelve is something I’ve been working on and something that’s never been done before so it definitely got me mentally the past couple of competitions, but I was very stoked and over the moon to put it down.
“I was just happy to come away and land a run pretty much.”
In typical James style, he donned his quintessential red boxing gloves for the final run.
“My red gloves are just a bit of a tradition of mine, just my boxing gloves – boxing kangaroo,” he said.
“I wear them all the time, every finals I have them on – that’s it, it’s my mojo.”
Referred to in 2017 as ‘the most popular Australian sports star in America’, James described how he felt it was “quite hard to beat these Americans at these US qualifying events”.
Across a variety of different sports and events Australia’s winter athletes are proving that they’re a group capable of medal results against the very best.
“Australia, more now than ever in my career, I can really feel the energy and the camaraderie coming from them and I really appreciate it,” James said.
It’s been a great weekend in Snowmass for Australia, with 17-year-old Tess Coady claiming the country’s first ever medal in a Snowboard Slopestyle World Cup.
Referring to Coady’s achievement, James added that he can’t wait to watch the young gun’s career.
“It was so cool watching Tess Coady get third yesterday, I’m so happy for her and I know what that feels like when you get your first podium on a big competition,” he said.
“I’m really happy for her and I’m really excited to watch her career, I’m just excited and it’s only the beginning.”
Australia’s top female snowboarders have finished within the top 15 of the Halfpipe World Cup following Thursday’s qualification runs at Snowmass, Colorado.
However, with only the top eight making it through to finals, Emily Arthur, Torah Bright and Holly Crawford will not be competing on Saturday and will instead turn their focus to the next competition.
Arthur, who came to Colorado after securing her best ever World Cup result at China’s Secret Garden in December, finished 12th today with a best score of 60.25.
“I was very happy [with] how I performed considering how awful my practice was,” the 18-year-old said.
“I was able to somewhat pull something out when it counted and I’m very happy about that! The pipe and the atmosphere was really fun, I was back with all my American friends which definitely upped the vibes.”
Fellow Aussie and three-time Olympian Holly Crawford finished in 14th place with a best score of 56.75 while Torah Bright wasn’t far behind, placing 15th with a best score of 55.75.
Bright, who like Crawford is hoping to compete in her fourth Winter Olympics, recently stepped up to the podium twice during the North-American Cup circuit in December after making a stunning return to the Snowboard Halfpipe competition.
The last chance for Australia’s Halfpipe riders to secure crucial qualification spots for the PyeongChang Games will be at the next World Cup in Laax, Switzerland from the 17 – 20 January.
Arthur, however, will not be competing in Switzerland, instead opting to stay at her “home mountain” in Mammoth, California to compete in the Mammoth Grand Prix and spend time testing out new tricks prior to the Winter Games.
“My coach and I thought it would be good to compete there and get some extra training in and not worry about travelling so close to the Olympics,” she said.
As for the men, 2017 World Champion Scotty James qualified for the 10-man Halfpipe final on Saturday after placing second in his qualification heat with a score of 88.75.
Unfortunately James’ fellow Aussies Kent Callister and Nate Johnstone did not qualify for the finals, with Callister placing 19th following a best run score of 59.25 and Johnstone 36th with 19.00.
The halfpipe finals will be broadcast live on Eurosport from 7am AEDT on Sunday morning. For live results click HERE or follow OWIA on Twitter HERE or Facebook HERE.
SNOWBOARD HALFPIPE: 2017 World Champion Scotty James’ ‘never-give-up’ attitude has secured him the Superpipe silver medal at the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colorado.
The X Games gold medallist bounced back from finishing 9th at the opening Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup event in Copper Mountain last weekend to secure the podium finish this morning with a solid score of 96.00.
After he was left feeling disappointed from last weekend’s event, the 23-year-old was glad he could turn the result around in Breckendrige.
“I feel good, we achieved what we wanted to do,” James said.
“I was happy to come away with a second, which felt like redemption on last week.”
Not only was James pleased he could turn the scoreboard around, but he was thankful he was able to compete at all in Colorado.
“I took a pretty bad crash during the week on one of my harder tricks and I’m grateful to get up from that and come back and have a good week.
“It was cool to finish where I did considering I’ve still got a lot more to give, so I’m happy with today and grateful that I’m okay,” he said.
A very consistent day saw James’ first final run score 95.00, followed his best of 96.00 and his third run scored 94.00.
19-year-old American Jake Pates, who won gold in both the halfpipe and the slopestyle events at the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games, won the gold with 97.33 showing he is a serious contender for next year’s Winer Olympic Games. Pates’ compatriot Ben Ferguson rounded out the podium in third with a score of 92.00.
Fellow Aussie Kent Callister narrowly missed out on today’s top-12 final, finishing yesterday’s qualification run in 13th place, just 3 points off a finals birth.
The Dew Tour served as a qualification event for the US Winter Olympic Team, meaning the American’s were out in full force over the weekend and putting everything on the line. The US athletes cleaned up the podium in the women’s Superpipe event with Chloe Kim taking gold, Kelly Clark in silver and Arielle Gold rounding out the podium.
James and Callister are back in action next week at the Secret Garden World Cup in China on December 19.
Australian halfpipe World Champion Scotty James has finished ninth in the opening World Cup of the season.
After topping the qualification heats on Friday, James was unable to replicate his near perfect scores finishing with a best total of 38.75 in the ten man final.
Japan's Ayuma Hirano claimed the victory with a score of 95.25 ahead of the USA's Ben Ferguson and Shaun White.
The VIS rider was unable to stick any of his runs, opening with a 19.00, before putting together his best run of 38.75 before closing out with a 16.75.
Fellow Australian Kent Callister finished 23rd overall.
In the women’s event Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic silver medallist Emily Arthur put down two solid runs of 58.66 and 60.00 to finish ninth in her qualification heat and an overall placing of 16th.
The women's event was an American clean sweep, with Chloe Kim taking the win ahead of Maddie Mastro and Kelly Clark.
James and his Australian teammates will now turn their attention to the Dew Tour event at Breckenridge which begins on Thursday.
It didn’t take very long for Scotty James to show why he is the world’s leading halfpipe rider.
The 23-year-old VIS World Champion threw down a near perfect 97.00 second run to win his qualification heat and record the highest score of the day at the opening World Cup of the season at Copper Mountain.
Competing in the opening qualification heat, James scored 92.33 on his first run before going even bigger next time down.
Japan’s Raibu Katayama also impressed with a 96.00 in his opening run of the second qualification heat while USA star Shaun White scored a 94.33 to set up a tantalising final on Sunday morning.
Fellow Aussie and Sochi 2014 Olympian Kent Callister scored 64.00 and 63.33 to finish 11th in James’ heat.
In the women’s event Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic silver medallist Emily Arthur put down two solid runs of 58.66 and 60.00 to finish ninth in her qualification heat.
The USA’s Maddie Mastro and Chloe Kim dominated proceedings with best scores of 91.33 and 89.00 as they easily progressed through to the eight-strong final.
With qualification out of the way James will now look to perform when it counts – in the ten-man final.
That goes down from 5am on Sunday morning (AEDT).
Live scoring will be available here>>> and you can watch the event live on Eurosport – Channel 511 on Foxtel.
IMAGE: the Copper Mountain Halfpipe © FIS
By his own account, last season for the two-time World Champion Scotty James was “hectic”.
His season couldn’t have been much bigger with X Games gold, defending his world title and taking home his second Crystal Globe.
“It was a pretty great year and awesome to reflect on,” James said. “I was very happy and excited at how it all turned out.”
This year, there’s a big goal on the horizon and it all begins for the 23-year-old in USA at Copper Mountain this weekend at the Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup as a step towards the PyeongChang Olympics and the only major prize not on his already golden resumé.
A veteran of two Olympics, the lessons learned and maturity gained since he made it onto the Vancouver team as a fifteen-year-old at the last minute is being put to good use.
“Life has changed. I think I’ve developed more as a person and as a rider, and starting to make better decisions for myself,” he said.
“There have been a few transitions in my performances because I’m always looking at how I can better myself and in life too – there’s been lots of changes from that side.”
“There’s always been my will to win but I’m my team better and that’s had a huge impact. More maturity of course, but a wealth of experience and I am making better decisions.”
“The experience is huge. It’s been an awesome ride for me so far which has been fantastic.”
James has been reported as the most recognised Australian sports star in USA and any added expectations that may bring are easily borne.
“That’s an error people make - by putting people on a pedestal. I didn’t do that (before) and I don’t do it now,” he said.
Now based in USA, James is aware of the pitfalls that come with a high profile, especially surrounding the expected showdown between him and the 31-year-old two-time American Olympic gold medallist, Shaun White.
“It’s Shaun who has earned the credit to have, but he is beatable, and he is human. We are all made out of the same thing and it’s about where you position yourself. I just focus on my goals and what I need to do. I know if I do the work I can show up and do well.”
Appreciative of his large fan base in North America, James has enjoyed the past year.
“It (the recognition) doesn’t faze me too much. I do what I have to do and don’t let too many things get in my way. Getting exposure has been great. They’re very cool fans in America. It’s been fantastic, especially with the success I’ve had in last year.”
On the edgy, fun side of Halfpipe is the fashion and other than the addition of red boxing gloves last season, James prefers normal snowboard gear.
“Snowboarders have the opportunity to wear whatever they like. We don’t have uniforms or anything like that apart from Olympics. You can dress however you want. That’s a fun aspect and gives people the opportunity to do what they want.”
“I totally get it,” he says of some of the more flamboyant gear. “It attracts kids to the sport. When I was a kid, I was dressing absolutely ridiculously.”
Not so ridiculous are the now signature red boxing gloves, giving the nod to Australia’s famous sporting icon – the Boxing Kangaroo.
The Australian Olympic Team’s official glove supplier and manufacturer XTM has come to the party designing a combined snow and boxing glove for James to wear in PyeongChang.
Away from the limelight, hard work was how James spent the Australian winter in Warrandyte and at twice-daily endurance and fitness sessions.
“Preparation has been about spending a lot of time at the VIS (Victorian Institute of Sport) and utilising that as much as possible.”
“I miss being home, seeing my family. I really am a home body and love Warrandyte - seeing all my friends and just doing normal things like going out for breakfast and playing with my dog.”
“Having a pipe here (in Australia) would be something I’d like to work on over the years to potentially make that happen. It would be fantastic for the kids.”
For now, there’s a busy competition schedule in run-up to PyeongChang. James will begin his season at the Copper Mountain FIS World Cup this Sunday morning 5am (AEDT), then the Dew Tour event at Breckenridge and possibly two more World Cups before defending his X Games title before PyeongChang.
Scotty James will be joined at Copper Mountain by fellow Aussies Nate Johnstone and Kent Callister. 18-year-old Emily Arthur, who is looking to making her Olympic debut next February, will also be in the starting line up in the Women’s event.
Watch all the action live on Eurosport from 5.00am (AEDT).
Scotty James will spend the next few months fine tuning a series of new tricks in the halfpipe with his sights set on becoming Australia's first men's snowboarding medallist at a Winter Olympics.
James enjoyed a breakout 2016-17 season in the halfpipe, taking down the world's best snowboarder, American Shaun White, at both the X Games and Olympic test event in South Korea before going on to win the world championship.
He's now one of Australia's best prospects for the Pyeongchang Games in February and is well-placed to join Torah Bright (gold 2010, silver 2014) as a medal winner in what is fast becoming the Winter Olympics' blue riband event.
"I know what every other rider is going to be doing -- at least the main guys I am going to compete against ..." James said.
"I'm not sure what people's idea of what I am going to do is but it is definitely going to be a little bit above and beyond ... I've still got something to prove and that's the mentality I'm taking into new tricks and developing things that people have never done before."
James has been training in New Zealand and recently returned to Falls Creek in Victoria where he is mentoring young athletes.
He'd like to see an Olympic standard halfpipe get built at the resort and is hoping his burgeoning status in the sport may eventually see it come to fruition.
"Having some awesome results last year I've definitely been able to have a little bit more leverage with some things in terms of support and what not," he said.
"Eventually, hopefully, I can pull something like that off."
James will spend time training on European glaciers before the official northern hemisphere season gets under way and is eyeing off five events in the lead-in to February's Games.
Already a two-time Winter Olympian, he realises just how much a medal can progress the sport in Australia and what it can do for him personally.
White, for instance is a global star and is thought to be worth $50 million.
"Winter sports in general aren't hugely broadcast or watched in Australia so there is that little added pressure (when the Games are on)," James said.
"The Olympics is huge and I look forward to it but between myself and my team I just say I want to be the most dominant snowboarder in the halfpipe."
Scotty James has qualified in first position for the men’s halfpipe final at the 2017 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships.
The two-time Olympian and reigning world champion executed two solid runs in Friday’s qualifying, scoring 80.25 points in his first attempt before stepping it up in the second to score 92.25 points.
“Had to go up,” James said of his scores.
“Taking into consideration I’m doing four hits I need to do four tricks and I think that’s what the judges wanted so I put that in my second run and ended up getting 92,” he said.
Spain’s warm conditions haven't deterred the 22-year-old from putting on a show.
“You can do all the tricks you want in there and that’s my plan for tomorrow night for the finals. It's going to be a good show,” he said.
“The pipe is in great shape. It's just when it gets a bit warm like this that the walls start to fade a little so you just need to be a little lighter on your toes when it heats up.”
Sochi Olympian Kent Callister was close to qualifying for the 10-strong men's final but settled for 11th after he was unable to beat his first run score of 72.75.
After receiving 68.50 points for his first run, 2013 World Champion Nate Johnstone could not complete a superior run in his second attempt and he finished in 14th.
In the women's event, former World Champion and Olympian Holly Crawford finished 10th with a strong second run score of 78.25 points. Crawford was unlucky not to qualify for the final with only the top six progressing in the women's event.
Youth Olympic Games representative Emily Arthur put down two consistent runs in the women’s event, scoring 61.75 points in the first and 51.75 points in the second to finish 17th overall.
Halfpipe finals will be held under lights on Saturday. Final events will be lived streamed at: https://www.skiandsnowboard.org.au/2017-snowboard--freestyle-world-champs/
Seven years ago two 15-year-old rookies readied themselves to take on the world’s best on sport’s grandest stage, the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
New to the international scene, Moguls skier Britt Cox and Halfpipe snowboarder Scotty James were given their first taste of Olympic Games’ pressure.
Cox had only competed in her first World Cup just three weeks before and James was a late injury replacement but both athletes were called on to wear the Aussie colours and soak up the Olympic experience.
Fast forward to 2017 and the duo are on top of the world.
Cox has a dominant lead in the world rankings having won six World Cup events to begin the season including gold at the PyeongChang 2018 test event.
Not one to be outdone, James took out the 2015 World Championships, recently became an X Games gold medallist and secured the World Cup title last weekend by also taking out the top step on the podium at the home of the 2018 Games.
The pair of now 22-year-olds are forever grateful of being given that early chance to help with their development and to propel them to where they are today.
“I really feel like I gained a lot of valuable insight and knowledge in Vancouver that helped my development as an athlete,” Cox said.
“I was thrown in the deep end which was actually perfect because I didn’t really have time to comprehend the situation and get nervous.
“I just treated it like any other competition and then soaked up the Olympic atmosphere. I got to see the top end athletes train and compete and it gave me a great insight of how I could get to that level.”
It has been that insight that has allowed Cox to become the dominant athlete she is today. “Experiencing the games in Vancouver as a competitor when I was 15 helped me become more accustomed to the hype that surrounds the Olympic Games,” continued Cox.
“I’ve been able to apply this to other major events in my career thus far.”
It was much the same for James.
“Getting to compete in Vancouver definitely helped my development,” he said.
“Being exposed to such excitement, atmosphere and what it meant to wear my country colours was awesome at such a young age.”
At that first major event with the world watching James realised what it would take to become the athlete he is today.
“Not to put too much pressure on myself, with such a big audience and a great atmosphere it comes down to how you handle the nerves.”
The duo have been supported along their journey to the top by the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia (OWIA).
The OWIA together with the AOC, Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) and the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) have provided programs for athletes in the winter sports covering coaching, international competition opportunities and support services including medical, strength and conditioning, psychology and physiotherapy.
“Our developing athletes have been really lucky compared to their peers in other countries,” said OWIA CEO Geoff Lipshut.
“The AOC together with SSA (Ski & Snowboard Australia) provided a unique opportunity for Britt and Scotty and we are really seeing the dividends of this seven years down the track.
“It is great that the Olympic Team is able to help with the development of our best youngsters.”
Now with the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games less than a year away both Cox and James, who also both lined up in Sochi, have their sights set on replicating their recent success in Korea.
“I absolutely love South Korea. The people are awesome, everyone loves snowboarding and is very supportive and helpful” James said.
“They’ve put on a really good pipe and I’m sure it’s going to be exactly the same next year, so I think we can expect another really fierce competition in a year’s time.
“All the experiences over the years have been put in my pocket and embraced. I'll be ready!”
Cox added: “I am always learning and developing as an athlete and I will carry the knowledge I gained from Vancouver and Sochi with me through the next 12 months.
“It’s great to have that insight however, Sochi was a completely different experience to Vancouver and I suspect Korea to be different again and that’s exciting.”
James now heads to the US to continue competing while Cox will be looking to build on her World Cup lead when she takes to the air in Thaiwoo, China this weekend.
Scotty James has put down “the run of his life” to win gold at the Phoenix PyeongChang Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup.
His third and final run in today’s competition not only secured James the individual World Cup victory, but he takes home the overall 2016/2017 Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup series crown.
In an Australian first, Scotty James is the current World Cup, World Championship and X Games champion. He wears three of the four major world snowboard halfpipe crowns, the fourth being Olympic glory.
“I am absolutely over the moon!” James said.
“I knew what I had to do to come away with a win today and I just had to let the rest do the talking.
“To come away on top is just an amazing feeling.”
The two-time VIS Olympian qualified for the final in fifth place. After a shaky start, only scoring 24.75 points in the first run of the final, James returned to his exceptional form to score 92.25 in the second run, before his series winning 96-point performance.
“The first one was just trying to get the jitters out,” the 22-year-old said.
“I unfortunately came unstuck, but was able to put the next two down and probably the run of my life on the last one.
“I knew I had to mix it up to come away with a win today, especially with a field like there is here.”
To claim the win, James had to defeat legendary American snowboarder Shaun White.
White is a two-time Olympic gold medallist, and winner of 24 winter and summer X Games medals in
snowboarding and skateboarding.
Winner of the Mammoth World Cup last weekend, White threatened James’ victory today, finishing second overall, a mere one point behind James with a score of 95. China’s Yiwei Zhang won bronze with 93.25.
James entered the final World Cup event sitting in second place on the overall leader board with 1700 points, trailing American Chase Josey by 260 points.
His victory at Bokwang Snow Park scored him 1000 points towards the discipline world standings and he claimed the overall series with 2700 points.
Josey finished second overall with 2360 points and White won bronze with 1930 points.
James is having the season he’s always hoped for.
After finishing in the top 10 for all World Cup events this season - including winning silver in Laax in January – the 2015 World Champion won gold in the men’s SuperPipe at the 2017 Aspen X Games on Australia Day.
“I am in a really good place at the moment on my board and off my board – life is really good.
“I’ve made big changes in my off-season and my pre-season. I started to take myself a little bit more seriously and approach it with a different attitude, and I will continue to do that.”
To further sweeten today’s glory, his win comes at the Test Event for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
According to James the pipe itself is exceptional, as is the atmosphere in PyeongChang.
“It has been an amazing week here in Korea – they have put on an amazing event for us.
“I absolutely love South Korea. The people here have been awesome, everyone loves snowboarding and is very supportive and helpful.
“And then the halfpipe obviously - they really turned that up for us.
“They’ve put on a really good pipe and I’m sure it’s going to be exactly the same next year, so I think we can expect another really fierce competition in a year’s time.”
Teammate Kent Callister also qualified for today’s 10-man final, finishing in eighth place; while Nate Johnstone finished 31st.
In the women’s competition, 2016 Youth Olympian Emily Arthur had her first top-10 finish for the season, placing 10th with a run of 72.25. Triple Olympian Holly Crawford placed 13th and is now heading to Sapporo to represent Australia at the Asian Winter Games.
Although the World Cup season has come to an end, it is not the end of the Northern Hemisphere winter season for our snowboarders. James will now fly back to the US for the next American Cup, before defending his World Championship title in Sierra Nevada, Spain in March.
And he cannot wait for more to come.
“I’m in a really good place now, but I’ve still got a bit of a fire under my butt!
“I still want to keep on pushing and I’ve got stuff to work on to keep solidifying my place on top of the podium.
“I’ve now got a bit of a target on my back, but I like this position and I will keep working hard to make sure I can stay on top.”
IMAGE: Halfpipe World Cup podium with (ltr) 2nd Shaun White (USA), 1st Scotty James (AUS) and 3rd Yiwei Zhang (CHN) in Bokwang Phoenix Park. Photo: Mateusz Kielpinski
The Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup competition heads to Korea this weekend for the final event of the series, which doubles as the Test Event for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
For Scotty James, the Phoenix PyeongChang World Cup is the final chance for him to make up the points needed to take out the overall series title.
Currently sitting in second place on the leader’s board with 1700 points, the two time Olympian is trailing American Chase Josey by 260 points.
The 2015 World Champion has had another very strong season, winning gold at the X Games in Aspen on Australia Day, and finishing in the top-10 at every World Cup event with his best result a silver medal in Laax in January.
A solid performance at the Bokwang Snow Park this weekend would be the icing on the cake of a stellar season.
“I’m excited to cap off the World Cup season, hopefully on top,” James said.
“The game plan for this event is to take the same approach as every other one – enjoy myself and the competition. Let the rest just fall into place.
“I’ve got some great competitors here so it’s going to be a good show.”
James will be joined in Korea by fellow Aussies Kent Callister, currently in 12th place on the World rankings, and Nate Johnstone in 20th place.
For Johnstone, he will relish his first experience of the Olympic venue.
“Korea is just one more stepping stone to get over in qualifying for the Olympics,” Johnstone said.
“Being the Test Event, there is a little extra pressure but I am excited more than anything because it’s our first look at what the Games are going to be like when we get there.
“I’ve only been to one other event in Korea and that was a long time ago, but they put on really good events so I’m expecting it to be pretty good conditions for the halfpipe.”
Scotty James is already in Korea and can confirm Johnstone’s expectations of the pipe.
“The halfpipe is awesome,” James said on Tuesday.
“I had the first day of practice today and it went great. The halfpipe cutter, Jeremy, did a great job and I'm really enjoying Korea so far.”
The men’s qualification round for the Phoenix PyeongChang Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup will be held on Friday 17 February, kicking off at 1.45pm AEDT. The final will be held from 3pm AEDT on Sunday afternoon.
The men will then head to Sierra Nevada, Spain in early March for the Snowboard Halfpipe World Championships.
Weather has played havoc at the US Snowboard and Freeskiing Grand Prix event in Mammoth Mountain, CA, USA, with events shortened or cancelled completely.
The US Grand Prix also doubles as a FIS World Cup event counting towards Olympic qualification. Unfortunately, wild weather featuring high winds and snow forced the cancellation of the men’s Slopestyle Skiing event which was to feature Russ Henshaw and Ryley Lucas. The extremely heavy conditions led to the men’s Snowboard Halfpipe and Slopestyle qualification rounds to be abandoned.
In total, four top ten performances where achieved by the Australian athletes across three different disciplines.
The highlight of the event was 16-year-old NSWIS Snowboarder Tess Coady placing sixth in the slopestyle final in her first ever World Cup. Jess Rich was unable to advance to the eight woman final, finishing in 21st place.
VIS 2017 X-Games Gold Medallist Scotty James was the leading Australian male in the men’s Snowboard Halfpipe, finishing in sixth place. NSWIS riders Kent Callister and Nathan Johnstone also had good runs in the difficult conditions placing eighth and eleventh respectively.
In the women’s Snowboard Halfpipe, Holly Crawford made a positive start to her first event of the season finishing in eighth place, just missing advancing to the final by two places. Emily Arthur was also in action with a 14th place qualification performance.
The Snowboard Halfpipe athletes now head to PyeongChang, Korea, for the Olympic Test Event World Cup, with the Slopestyle Snowboarders and Skiers off to World Cup events in Quebec City, Canada.
IMAGE: Tess Coady in nicer weather conditions at Mammoth at the start of the week! © Tess Coady Instagram
After becoming one of the nation’s youngest ever Winter Olympians in 2010, James competed at his second Games in 2014 and went on to become World Champion in 2015.
It wasn’t much of a surprise then when he went out and backed up his World Cup silver to start 2017 with X Games gold last weekend in Aspen.
“It was overwhelming,” James said.
“I had so much support from Australia as well as the US on the back of the event. It was quite special having some of the family at the bottom there watching too.”
The young gun will now look to continue that hot form when he hits the pipe at the Mammoth Mountain World Cup event in California this weekend.
“I am feeling great on my board and the past couple of competitions have been a result of my preparation for this year. It's been an awesome ride so far and looking forward to more.
“I have come down with a bit of a cold post X Games but I have been up riding the practice days. I really love Mammoth and the pipe here and am excited for this week.”
James will be joined by rising star and 2016 Winter Youth Olympic silver medallist Emily Arthur and three-time Olympian Holly Crawford.
Arthur recently finished 19th at the opening World Cup event of the season in Copper Mountain and will be looking to push her way up the rankings.
“It's been super fun being out in Mammoth and the pipe is insanely good,” said Arthur.
“It’s also nice as I have been based here this season so it's kind of like being on my home turf.”
“It's such a stacked field out here I'm just planning to go out, land some runs and have fun. Hopefully it will pay off.”
Like many of her Australian counterparts Arthur was stoked to see one of her teammates rise to the top of the sport.
“Scotty has been killing the game and it's so rad to see, it's kept Australia frothing and me too for sure.
“Hopefully some of his success rubs off on us.”
For Crawford the event will be a chance to get back on the snow as she competes at her first FIS event in just under 12 months as she looks to push towards a fourth Olympic appearance in PyeongChang.
“I’ve only been back on my board for a little over a week since early March last year so I’m just hoping to get back into the swing of things and hopefully come out with a good result,” Crawford said.
“The pipe has been really good here and practice has gone well. Unfortunately there is some bad weather coming in so fingers crossed it holds off.”
Current World Champion and PyeongChang 2018 contender Scotty James has won SuperPipe gold at the first X Games event of the season in Aspen.
James threw down a spectacular 90-point effort on the first of two runs in the final to beat a star studded-field that included the calibre of halfpipe legend Shaun White and Sochi 2014 Olympic gold medallist Iouri Podladtchikov.
“It’s Australia day back home today and I have my boxing kangaroo gloves on,” said James.
“I just came out wanting to have the best time and have lots of fun and let the rest do the talking, and it’s absolutely a dream come true to come away with the gold.”
James competed at his first Olympic Games at Vancouver in 2010 as a 15-year-old and four years later became a dual Olympian at Sochi.
He became World Champion in 2015 and has now added another massive victory to his already impressive resume
“It’s really surreal I don’t have words for it right now. I am just over the moon, it was such an awesome event and there were some really tough riders.
“I didn’t get too comfortable, especially with competitors like that in the field, but we did it, we got it in the end, so I am stoked.”
James led from start to finish hitting a massive method air to kick off his gold medal winning run before landing a double cork frontside 1080 and a cab double cork 1080.
He finished it off with a frontside 900 and a backside 1260 double cork to ensure he would take top step on the podium ahead of defeat the USA’s Matt Ladley and Taylor Gold.
Following on from his World Cup silver last weekend, the result highlights his credentials as a strong medal contender for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, which are just over a year away.
James finished 21st in the halfpipe event at both the Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 Winter Games while also claiming 16th in slopestyle in Russia.
The gold in Aspen came in James’ sixth X Games appearance with his previous best result being bronze in last year’s event. James is the first Australian male rider to win the X Games Superpipe event.
Nail-biting is the best description for the Laax Open World Cup in Switzerland this weekend when two-time Olympian and current World Champion Scotty James laid down the top score going into the third and final Snowboard Half Pipe run.
Going into the final as fourth-best qualifier, James nailed his first run with a backside double cork 1260 as the ‘last hit’, scoring 93.25 and leaving him at the top of a high calibre twelve-man final.
In front of an amped up full house in perfect blue-sky conditions the standard in the second run climbed as riders brought bigger tricks onto an immaculate-looking pipe.
James delivered an even better rendition of his first run, elevating the score to 96.50 with American Chase Josey showing what he is capable of by scoring 90.25, having recovered from a botched first run.
The World Cup winner would boil down to the third and final run for the ‘best of three’ and all eyes were on Scotty James’ 96.50 top score, as Josey produced a remarkable ride, which included three back side hits in a row that drew a new leader score of 97.75 with James still to go.
The gold slipped from the Australian’s grasp early in the final run when he dropped the backside 1260 and he had to settle for silver in an event that was crammed with top riders, including Olympic Champion Iouri Poladtchikov, who placed third and FIS rankings leader Patrick Burgener (8th).