Sports In private halfpipe, Aussie boarder schemes for Beijing gold

08:01  23 january  2022
08:01  23 january  2022 Source:   msn.com

Shoemaker: Getting to Beijing is the first Olympic competition

  Shoemaker: Getting to Beijing is the first Olympic competition When Canada's team of more than 200 athletes are aboard their chartered flights to Beijing, it will feel like the first major Olympic hurdle has been cleared, says David Shoemaker. The Beijing Games open in exactly one month, but the competition has already started. The challenge: getting the country's top athletes to China without testing positive for COVID-19, an ominous and invisible threat that few could have seen coming just a few weeks ago. "I think we all will feel like the first discipline in this competition will be completed at that point," Shoemaker said.

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — On a private halfpipe in Switzerland, Scotty James schemed for the future.

  In private halfpipe, Aussie boarder schemes for Beijing gold © Provided by The Canadian Press

The location became his own secret lab, t he Australian snowboarder joked, where he was free to experiment with new tricks and combinations, and keep everything under the radar.

Introducing James' newest creation: His spin on a triple cork, the three-flip jump that could be the trick needed to win a gold medal at the Beijing Games.

Never one to hold anything back, the 27-year-old might give the public a rare look at his latest concoctions at the Winter X Games on Friday, no doubt wearing his trademark red boxing-glove mittens (he views competitions as prize fights). It's a chance to give a tiny glimpse of what could be in store next month in China.

Veteran forwards Poulin, Johnston lead Canada's bid to reclaim Olympic hockey gold

  Veteran forwards Poulin, Johnston lead Canada's bid to reclaim Olympic hockey gold Selena Gomez explained the meaning behind her matching tattoo with Cara Delevingne while on 'Live with Kelly and Ryan'.

“I’m in a good position with that trick,” James said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. “It’s a big trick that requires a lot of energy."

It's a trick that a number of Japanese riders have these days, too. In December, two-time Olympic silver medalist Ayumu Hirano pulled off what’s called a frontside triple cork 1440, a jump that involves three head-over-heels flips with a twist while grabbing the board above the 22-foot-high halfpipe.

That was viewed as a game-changer on the halfpipe circuit. If the rumors prove accurate, James might have more than one version of the triple cork in his bag of tricks.

No easy feat for him, either. At 6-foot-2 (1.88 meters), he's tall for a snowboarder and that’s a lot of rotations.

“For me, I’m defying the odds doing the triple cork in the halfpipe, which I'm super-excited about,” said James, a bronze medalist at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, finishing behind Olympic champion Shaun White and runner-up Hirano. “I don’t know if you need a triple, but it’s going to be highly regarded is the best way probably to put it. That’s how I’m positioning it in my head.

CBC announces programming details, broadcast team for 2022 Winter Olympics

  CBC announces programming details, broadcast team for 2022 Winter Olympics CBC/Radio-Canada, Canada's Olympic Network, is set to provide comprehensive around-the-clock coverage of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on all platforms with an experienced broadcast team known across the country, and more than 2,400 hours of live content. Broadcasting live from Toronto for 23 hours of daily coverage throughout the entire Games, an award-winning team of commentators and analysts will present the Olympics through five different programs.

“I think it’s better to have one than to not.”

Even without the triple, James has one of the most demanding — some might say, underappreciated — tricks out there called a switch backside 1260. Basically, it’s riding backward and twisting toward the top of the halfpipe while traveling down it.

James, who felt at the last Olympics that highly technical tricks such as his don't receive fair scoring, said he watched some contests that he didn't attend this winter and noticed that, in a strange way, things might be evening out.

“I did notice that since I wasn’t there, the riders didn’t tend to actually ride much switchback side or backside,” James said. “And I noticed that they were being docked for it from the judges. I would say that they (judges) definitely recognize it. I guess when maybe I’m not around, it’s not as much of a trick that really gets done. Once I’m back, obviously, it’s one of my strong points.”

Prioritizing health and safety means changing how we'll cover Beijing Olympics

  Prioritizing health and safety means changing how we'll cover Beijing Olympics Devin Heroux's plans to cover the Olympics from Beijing have been derailed. Despite taking every precaution and closely following protocols, a positive test about a month ago is keeping him in Canada.And for the past two years I've been fortunate to be able to document the journey of Canadian Olympians as they've navigated their way to the Summer and Winter Games. No matter their sport — and not unlike us non-Olympians — their lives have been upended by the pandemic.

James has come a long way since that day his dad bought him a tiny snowboard for $10 from a shop that was using it as a doorstop. He’s won three world championship titles, six World Cup races and three Winter X Games gold medals.

To elevate his game, James retreated to that private halfpipe in Switzerland. It’s a page straight out of White's playbook. The three-time Olympic gold medalist was set up with his own private halfpipe in Colorado before the 2010 Vancouver Games, where White perfected the Double Mctwist 1260 (two flips and 3 1/2 spins) on his way to gold.

“You get to just be in your own world,” said James, who’s sponsored by Red Bull. “You get to set your own goals. You don’t really have anything in the environment that’s really stopping you from being able to achieve what you have in your mind. So when you get to be on your own, it’s a pretty special moment.”

He felt almost like a scientist creating in a lab, kiddingly comparing himself to Dr. Evil, a character played by Mike Myers in the “Austin Powers” movies.

“It's where I concoct all my secret ingredients,” James cracked of the private halfpipe. “I look at it from my high tower and scratch my head and wonder, 'What am I going to do with an evil watch?’"

Beijing Olympics' top doctor defends stricter COVID testing as necessary protection

  Beijing Olympics' top doctor defends stricter COVID testing as necessary protection Dr. Brian McCloskey told CBC Sports on Friday that testing protocols have detected more positive cases in arrivals to Beijing than at a similar point for the Tokyo Olympics in July, something he said is expected and what they are designed to do. "It's picking up people who might be infectious and might get into the [Athletes] Village and cause a problem," he said. "And now, we're having to work out how we deal with those cases and get as many people as possible into the Games, and as many people as we can safely." The Olympics are scheduled to officially open on Feb. 4.

James recently orchestrated a move he's rehearsed over and over.

There were no flips or turns involved, but it provided as big an adrenaline rush as any contest. He dropped to a knee and proposed to his girlfriend. His heart was racing.

She said yes.

“I think I caught her by surprise,” said James. “You come up with all these great ideas of how you think it’s going to work out. But it usually never goes that way. I was trying to find the right words and anyway, I think she got the idea once I got down on one knee.”

There could be more things that sparkle on the horizon — possibly a medal at Winter X and perhaps another in Beijing. One thing's for sure: He won't be playing it safe at Winter X, even with Beijing around the corner.

"I want to win everything,” James said. “As an athlete, you don’t really hold back — ever."


More AP Winter Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Pat Graham, The Associated Press

Journalists prepare for "full throttle" approach to Games, no matter the challenges .
Good luck finding a Canadian athlete planning to compete in Beijing who will publicly offer blunt assessments on some of the newsier talking points ahead of the Games. Strained Canada-China relations? The Peng Shuai situation? Human rights abuses? Unlike previous Games, when hot topics were often discussed, competitors have largely avoided the political conversation when it comes to the host nation. Don't expect journalists to pull the same punches when they descend on Beijing. Many are licking their chops at the bounty of storylines that await, potential bristling by authorities be damned.

usr: 1
This is interesting!