While PyeongChang is in less than a month, the main priority for Sochi Olympian Nate Johnstone is to put “a good, clean run down at this event” and then repeat it again at the next World Cup.
“There’s so much going on at the moment so I think it only really sets in once you actually get there [to PyeongChang],” he said.
“Right now I’m not really thinking about Korea, I’m thinking about the comp that’s in the next few days and then after that [I] literally fly straight to Switzerland.”
Johnstone, who “decided to pull the pin” on the last World Cup in Copper Mountain after a fall on his way to training, was also prevented from competing in the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colorado.
“They treated it as a concussion and then I had to follow the protocol and so by the time I was going to get back on snow, it wasn’t going to give me enough time to train,” he said.
After heading back to his hometown of Sydney to soak up some sunshine, Johnstone arrived back in the USA last Thursday and has been spending time training and familiarising himself with the pipe ahead of this week’s qualification runs.
“I got back over here on the fourth of January so we had a few days riding Copper prior to driving down here … Today was the first day of comp practice and everything felt pretty good, just getting used to the pipe,” he said.
“It’s a bit different to the ones we’ve ridden in Copper and Breck so it’s just a matter of adapting and getting used to it, feeling it out. It’s good, just different.
“They all ride a little bit different, because we mostly train in Summit and we’re riding in Copper and Breck a lot, you tend to get used to them and they have a style.”
Fellow Aussie and 2017 World Champion Scotty James will also be competing in this week’s World Cup after claiming silver at the Dew Tour with a solid score of 96.00.
James, who has been described as probably ‘the most popular Australian sports star in America’, competed in his first Olympics at Vancouver in 2010 after injury prevented Johnstone from competing.
Sochi Olympian Kent Callister, 22, who narrowly missed out on the top 12 final in the Dew Tour after finishing 13th, said that he is feeling “very confident going into this next World Cup”.
“Training has been going great recently,” he said.
“I’ve been in Colorado all season riding at Copper Mountain. The halfpipe has been awesome so I’ve been able to do all my tricks I wanted to do for that season.
“I have been working on the backside double McTwist 1260. I’ve tried it a few times and I’ve come around to my feet almost every time so I’m aiming to do it in this World Cup.”
After securing her best ever World Cup result at China’s Secret Garden, Emily Arthur will also compete in this week’s event.
The 18-year-old – who only finished her HSC exams a few months ago – burst onto the international scene after claiming a silver medal at the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Winter Olympic Games.
Three-time Olympian Torah Bright, who has made a stunning return to the Snowboard Halfpipe competition after bursting back onto the podium twice during the North-American Cup circuit in December, is also scheduled to compete in Snowmass as is fellow Aussie Holly Crawford.
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