After a top 5 finish in the qualifying round with an impressive score of 76.50, Matthew Cox placed himself in a comfortable position heading into the finals.
Despite feeling stressed after a couple of mistakes in practice and a fall in the first run, Cox knew what he had to do to get a good score in his second.
“I dropped in, I was ready to roll and then I took off and had another crack at the front 14 off the toes,” Cox said.
“When I finished the 14 with probably 10 foot in the air to go, I was tensing every single muscle in my core that I could and thinking ‘I’ve got to get this’.”
Cox was rapt with his score of 89.25 and felt confident heading into his third run.
“I had a chat to my coaches, and we came to the decision to get the cab 12 and see where that would place me,” Cox said.
“I was super hyped to be in third place, but after some solid performances from Nick Laframboise (CAN) and Kalle Jarvilehto (FIN) that bumped me back down to fifth I was still over the moon.”
Cox finished 5th overall with a total score of 158.00, only 18.25 off competition winner Chris Corning (USA).
“The funniest thing is I was talking to the FIS official at the bottom and he said, ‘You’re going to get paid for this’ and I was losing my mind that I was going to get some prize money as well!” Cox said.
We caught up with Cox to chat all things Snowboarding.
What do you do to prepare for competition?
Well the months before it’s just pretty much snowboarding. Just getting on your feet, making sure everything is good and making sure I feel fine. My competition preparation is, I get up there, I get in my zone, I’ll put on a little bit of music and take myself off to the side and do a bit of breathing. I work with a guy called Matt Griggs and we’ve got a routine that we’ve worked together on for breathing, visualisation and holding my breath while visualising because it’s adding something harder to do while you’re visualising. It’s a segment of Kelee meditation )which is also what I do most nights before I go to bed) but when you’re in competition mode instead of trying to calm down and go into that one place and try and forget everything, you want to put all your energy into snowboarding. So, it’s all about what I’m about to do and prepare for it.
What do you like most about snowboarding?
There are so many factors that go into what I love about snowboarding. But as a little kid a lot of people said snowboarding was never going to take me anywhere. I have so many things to prove to myself, not even others, that I can do everything that I want to do and what I want to do is win an Olympic gold medal and be able to win multiple X Games. I have such a long checklist to tick off in my brain.
It’s also the fact that I can do whatever I want. No-one can get up there and tell what to do, when I get up there it’s all self-driven. You can’t rely on someone else to make your day good, it’s entirely up to you. You get into your mindset and do what you want to do. Obviously external factors help to give you a positive mindset but it’s entirely up to you to take whatever situation you’ve got and turn it into a positive.
Who are your snowboarding heroes?
One of my snowboarding heroes is Halldór Helgason, he is the man! He started following me on Instagram last year and I couldn’t believe it. He’s such a good snowboarder and has that effortless look, which is what I’m trying to do with my snowboarding obviously. So, he’s definitely one of my major idols.
Also, Travis Rice. He’s done a lot of work in film and done a lot of competing over the years, he’s one of the most ridiculous snowboarders on the planet.
What are you currently working on now? What is next for you?
I’m just cleaning everything up. A lot of the tricks that I have in my repertoire at the moment I have been working on for so long - back 16, switchback 16, cab 14’s, front 14’s, back 14’s. It’s just a matter of time and putting in the effort to having them on lock so I can just think ‘okay this is what I’m doing today, let’s go, let’s get it!’
Next for me in competition is Modena Big Air in Italy which is a scaffolding jump – it’s going to be so fun. Plus, I absolutely love food and part of my family heritage way back down the line is Italian, so it’ll be great to go back there. I love food, you could pretty much tempt me into doing anything with food.
What's your ultimate goal?
Winning a gold medal at the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid. I want to take down that top spot at that event, it’s the pinnacle event for a lot of sports and I feel like it’s definitely one that stands out the most. Close second would be winning the X-Games; that’s more of a close to home kind of event where the Olympics is more of a prestigious thing.