Not bad considering his first World Cup was not until February this year.
Certainly, he was born to ride and began snowboarding when he was 18-months old. It helps that his parents own and operate a snowboard shop in Jindabyne, NSW.
His ‘sudden’ rise to the elite end of Snowboard Cross doesn’t feel that quick to Lambert.
“The season before last I didn’t do the best that I could,” he said. “I choked and could have done much better – because I kept making stupid mistakes.”
“That season (2016/17) I learned to be resilient, then it all flowed.”
Lambert didn’t race in the first four World Cups in the 2017/18 season because he was yet to qualify at that level but after three podiums in the Europa Cup series, he was on his way.
“I got that,” Lambert remarked on his overall Europa Cup Snowboard Cross title after impressive wins in three out of five Europa Cups.
On his first World Cup appearance in February this year at Feldberg, Lambert is disparaging.
“On the first day (in Feldberg), I did terrible – 52nd. And to choke like that at my first World Cup was pretty rough.”
“I came back the next day though, qualified and won through to the second final (placing 7th).”
He went on to his second World Cup in La Molina Spain to finish overall sixth and onto his first World Championships, again in Spain, with another sixth.
“I’m called ‘nugget’ because I’m short and powerful,” he laughed. “Being shorter than the other guys is an advantage and a disadvantage.”
The advantage is his canny ability to find the gaps and then there’s the level of power required to excel in the rollers.
“When I’m riding rollers that are deep I probably have to work fifty percent harder. The most important part of the roller is the entry because if you mistime it, you’re in trouble.”
For the kid with a bullet who was into slopestyle until he was 15-years-old, Snowboard Cross didn’t enter his world until a few years ago.
“I had to give up Slopestyle when I was fifteen because I had a knee meniscus tear and for almost five months, I had nothing to else to do but sit on the couch. That time helped me in the end because I had previously enjoyed racing and did my first boardercross program when I was seventeen.”
Lambert’s first overseas event came in the 2014/15 season and just two seasons on, he thinks his chances to make the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games team as the third highest ranked Australian are “pretty good right now” and the rookie is “super proud”.
“The possibilities of making the Olympics sunk in three weeks after the World Championships (in Spain, March 2017) and I couldn’t sleep. I was so excited.”
The young gun lists Alex “Chumpy” Pullin and Cam Bolton as his heroes in the sport since he first met them three years ago.
“When I was fifteen I did my first FIS event and Futures Camp at Hotham, which Chumpy and Cam ran. They’re the top guys.”
His ultimate dream is to “win the Olympics. What else is there?” he said.
“I have put expectations on myself but I’m taking it one step at a time.”
International racing at the highest level has taught Lambert a thing or two. “You make friends pretty quickly when you win and people want to talk to you.”
Lambert has been training on home snow in NSW before his opening race of the season at Mt Hotham in August and then onto Argentina for the first-ever World Cup in Argentina in September.
To find out more about Adam Lambert, visit his OWIA Athlete Profile page at http://www.owia.org/adam-lambert.html
By Belinda Noonan OWIA