Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Final Preparations for the Olympics before leaving the UK

The last 5 weeks for me have probably been my busiest ever! Since I arrived back from Argentina I have been finishing my final dry land training program at Bath before I head out to Europe for “on snow” training. But the difference this time is with the Olympics being so close even though I've been in the gym every day, I've also been doing tons of interviews for the media it feels like I have been doing at least one a day and also spending a great deal of time working with my sponsors, its been really tiring, but all good stuff and pretty fun. The one thing that is obvious is that the “Financial situation” within my sport is a media story at the moment. I can see why this is but there is absolutely nothing I can do about it apart from get my head down and train. It has had a massive impact on my training program but at the same time it has also been a massive opportunity. In short, the British Olympic Association and UK Sport have been absolutely excellent to me since the financial problems began, both organisations have worked together and really helped me, if it were not for them I would be in a lot worse position right now!! So I have to say thank you so much to them.

There has been a great deal of positives that has come out of the problems, some that have changed my career for the better, for good. Over the past 5 years I have been part of a “generic training program” but now since the financial problem began back in March I have developed a close team around me and am running my own “focussed” World Cup Snowboard Cross program together with the British Olympic Association. Thanks again to my manager and WC SBX program manager Dan Brier who has worked tirelessly during this time (and for the past 3 years) and made so many things happen that simply looked impossible. He has allowed me for the first time to actually focus my training around myself where it is best directed for me to become the best I can be. This hasn't happen overnight but I am so much happier now, both on and off the snow. In years gone by because of the training programs I have been part of I haven’t been part of a team but now I am with the immediate team around me and TeamGB as a whole, its great and I love it!

Anyways, my plans are to stay in the uk till the start of November so i have look 2 packed weeks to look forward to before I go, I'm filming with ITV Granada today at Milton Keynes SNO!zone - my indoor slope sponsor, I have a national newspaper interview tomorrow, the metro show on Saturday where I am launching the new BMW X1 motor vehicle as a BMW ambassador, also on that day I have an interview with the BBC and a photoshoot with British Airways my new airline sponsor. I'm spending Sunday with my friends who have come across to see me from the Isle of Man which should be great fun. Next week I have another couple of interviews, the Olympic Gold ball in London on Thursday evening where the dress code is black Tie so I am wearing a dress, this doesn't happen very often! Then the Birmingham Ski show over the weekend. Its all go!! I'm now really looking forward to getting back on snow, I'm probably going to start off in Hintertux, Austria but I have to finalise arrangements with my coach – Lukas Prem depending on where the good snow is. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to afford to employ a coach since March 09 but thanks to the creativity of my team and the endless efforts of UK Sport and the British Olympic Association, I now have one part time at least and I'm really looking forward to working with him through the season.

That's about it for now but I will have more updates soon. And finally a massive thank you to Graham Hughes who took these images during The Times interview I had a couple of days ago.