Olympic Winter Games Attended
Triple World Snowboard Halfpipe champion and current FIS Crystal Globe winner Scotty James was described in March 2017 as probably ‘the most popular Australian sports star in America’.
The snowboarder from Melbourne has come a long way from the 15-year-old who was the youngest male of all competing nations at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. At the time, he was also Australia's youngest male Olympian in 50 years.
James’ first snowboard was a $10 display board from Vancouver as a gift from his father and was the only board small enough for him to ride.
He was competing by age six and by ten he was beating the older kids, then moved from racing into Halfpipe and his first international event as a 14-year-old at the 2008 Europa Cup in Saas Fee, Switzerland.
In 2010, Scotty James was a last-minute addition to the Australian Olympic Team for the Vancouver Games when teammate Nate Johnstone was ruled out of the Games with an injury.
James rushed to the World Cup in Stoneham, Canada to achieve the top 19 result required for eligibility to replace Johnstone. His 15th place secured a ticket to Vancouver, where he produced a fantastic performance beyond his years to finish 21st.
After Vancouver and later in 2010 James competed in the World Junior Halfpipe and Slopestyle Championships finishing 15th and 16th respectively.
From early 2011 to 2012 all his World Cup results in Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air climbed into top ten territory – at a time when he was growing taller.
At the 2013 World Championships in Stoneham, Canada, Scotty notched a career best performance of sixth in the Halfpipe – and also placed 16th in Slopestyle.
Competing at the last event of the 2013/14 season before the Sochi Games, James won his first World Cup medal - bronze in the Snowboard Halfpipe, plus two top-ten finishes at other World Cups in the season. His results and points left James as the highest points scorer, earning him the Overall World Cup Title for Snowboard Halfpipe and his first FIS Crystal Globe.
Scotty also put down one of the best performances of his career to date at the X-Games in Aspen, CO, USA, coming in fourth.
At the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games he was one of a handful of athletes to compete in both Slopestyle and Halfpipe – placing 16th in Slopestyle and 21st in Halfpipe.
The emerging threat the young Australian could be to USA’s Halfpipe King and Vancouver gold medallist Shaun White came in 2015 when James won the 2015 World Championships in Kreischberg, Austria.
A huge boost to James career in 2016 was coming away with a bronze medal from the Aspen, Colorado X-Games in January 2016 but there was more to come.
In mid-December 2016 James began his World Cup season with a fourth at Copper Mountain, USA, then in January 2017 - silver in Laax, Switzerland.
January 26, 2017 – Australia Day – was a day to celebrate when Scotty James won the Winter X Games Superpipe Final in Aspen, Colorado in a field stacked with the world’s best riders including Shaun White (USA Olympic Gold Medallist 2010) and Iouri Podladitchkov (Russian Olympic Gold Medallist 2014).
At the Olympic Test Event and World Cup in Phoenix PyeongChang in February 2017, James again rode brilliantly winning gold in emphatic style and under immense pressure.
In March 2017, fresh from his World Cup victory in Korea James went on to Sierra Nevada, Spain to defend his World Championship title and be awarded his second FIS Crystal Globe.
At the 2017 Ski & Snowboard Australia Awards, Scotty James was jointly named with Mogul Skier Britt Cox as Athlete of the Year. Both World Champions, both FIS Crystal Globe winners.
James created history as the first Australian male to win a snowboard Olympic medal at PyeongChang 2018. The 2017 World Champion, who was also the 2018 Australian Opening Ceremony Flag Bearer, came away with the bronze medal for Australia with a top score of 92.00 in the final.
James had a remarkable 2018-2019 season, winning each of the six events he entered. His “perfect season” included gold medals at the Dew Tour, X-Games, US Grand Prix, Laax Open and the US Burton Open and the 2019 World Championships.
The World Championship victory in Park City in February 2019 is James' third consecutive World Championship title following wins in Kreischberg, Austria, in 2015 and Sierra Nevada, Spain, in 2017 - An unprecedented achievement as both the first-ever Snowboard rider and Australian winter sports athlete to do so.
James again dominated the world stage in 2019-2020, winning five times and landing on the podium at all seven events during his season. James won World Cup events in USA, China and Switzerland at Copper Mountain, Secret Garden and Laax and pro events the X-Games in Aspen and the Dew Tour in Colorado. James also claimed the third World Cup title of his career at the final FIS World Cup Snowboard Halfpipe event of the season in Calgary, Canada.
For the third time in his career, James was named winner of the Olympic Athlete of the Year title for the 2020 Snow Australia Awards, sharing the award along with aerial skier Laura Peel.
James had another outstanding season in 2020-2021, with three medals in the three events he competed in. At the World Championships in Aspen, USA, James fell just short of a historic fourth straight halfpipe World Championship gold medal, claiming the silver. James also took home silver medals at the World Cup event in Laax, Switzerland, and the X-Games in Aspen.
In the 2021-2022 season, James made a strong start to his Olympic campaign, qualifying for finals in first place in Laax, Switzerland. In the final, James uncharacteristically was unable to put down a clean run in his two attempts and finished in 11th place.
Using Laax as extra motivation, James bounced back in the best possible way the following week at the X-Games in Aspen, USA, winning his fourth gold medal in the prime time event.
Competing in an amazing fourth Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, James produced another great performance to win the second Olympic medal of his career.
In one of the most anticipated events at the Beijing Games, James took on a star studded field, which featured five-time Olympian Shaun White from the USA and a number of strong Japenese contenders.
In the best of three run finals, James put down a spectacular second run with a score of 92.50, with Japan's Ayumu Hirano only better with a 96.00 to take the gold on the last run of the day.
James commenced the 2022-2023 season with an amazing performance to win gold in Copper Mountain, USA, performing one of the finest runs in halfpipe history to score an amazing 99.00 points from the judges to win gold at the World Cup event in Copper Mountain, USA.
At the next event in Laax, Switzerland, poor visibility Laax resulted in the night-time final being cancelled, with results from the qualification round used to determine the final placings, with James in second place giving him his 13th career World Cup podium.
James led a double podium for Australia in the men's halfpipe at the prestigious X-Games in Aspen, USA, with James claiming his sixth X-Games victory together with super teen Valentino Guseli in bronze and his first X-Games podium.
In snowy conditions in front of a huge crowd at the Aspen halfpipe, James was again the dominant rider, with two outstanding runs giving him back-to-back victories at the event. With victory secure, James could perform a “victory lap” on his third and final run, high fiving the crowd on his way down. Only the legendary Shaun White has more X-Games halfpipe titles with eight.
At thw 2023 World Championships in Bakuriani, Georgia, James just missed recording his fifth career World Championship medal , finishing in fifth place with his best score of 86.50 points coming in his second run.
Q & A
Proudest moment: Representing Australia at the Olympic Winter Games
I began my sport when... I was three. I am the youngest in my family and I've always been chasing my elder brothers and sister around the mountain. We're all keen winter sports people.
When I am not training or competing I am reading some aviation books or taking photos.
I enjoy my sport because I get to test myself against the best riders in the world and I get a big high from the adrenaline day to day in the Halfpipe.
Education: Southwood Boys Grammar
Favourite international competition: Laax Open. The pipe is always awesome to ride and the scenery is amazing
Favourite Food: Sushi
Favourite Music: Anything that makes me feel good, 50's, 70's and any kind of Rock N' Roll.
Favourite other sport to watch or play: Formula 1, Golf
Favourite sporting team: The Bombers
My hero is: All Australians who are out giving it their all, on whatever their chosen stage is.
Sponsors: Red Bull, Oakley, Volcom
Childhood Ambition: To be a pilot
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