James aiming for new bag of tricks
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."
contributed by Ski & Snowboard Australia