This year is a huge year for British skiing and snowboarding with team GB having a strong team ready for the Winter Olympics this February in South Korea. We are lucky enough to know some of the very talented and hard working skiers and snowboarders and call them our friends, which makes the Winter Olympics in February even more exciting!
We recently caught up with Murray Buchan, one of the best halfpipe skiers in the UK (and in the world!) and all round absolute legend of a person! Murray is at the top of his game and on course to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics in February. Treeline are so excited for him and will be following his progress over the coming weeks and all going to plan, we will be cheering loudly at a TV when watching the Olympic Ski Halfpipe events in Pyeongchang, South Korea!
Here’s what Murray had to say about skiing and the build up to the Olympic Games in 3 weeks time…
- Where are you now and what are you up to?
Hi Guys! I am currently in Mammoth Mountain Lodge sitting by the fire having competed in the last Grand Prix/World Cup before the Olympics.
- How long have you been skiing and how did you get into it?
I think I have been skiing roughly 18 years now? Maybe slightly longer. It is hard to keep track sometimes. I first got into skiing at Glenshee in Scotland but it all kicked off for me at Hillend in Edinburgh. My dad used to be ski mountain rescue at Glenshee when he was younger and wanted something the family could do together. So I had my first experience of skiing in the wet and cold before getting lessons properly at Hillend. At first I wasn’t a fan. But the more able I became, the more I fell in love with it.
- What does it mean to be part of the GB Park and Pipe Team? What does it involve?
It means quite a lot to me. I think it is a privilege to compete for your country and it is a special thing to ride for GB. At the moment, it is very exciting being involved in snow sports in Britain as it’s making huge leaps forward. The team is so strong right now in all disciplines, and it’s an achievement to just be a part of that. It doesn’t involve much more than you would expect. You go out and ride and have fun. It just means that you do contests all over the world. You travel together and ride together so it doesn’t differ much for the usual.
- Are you excited for the Olympics 2018? Have you competed at a Winter Olympics Before?
I am extremely excited for the Winter Olympics! I am a big sports fan no matter what is on so I love watching all the events that wouldn’t usually be on TV. It is even more exciting that I could be a part of it. It comes around every 4 years so it is special and I don’t want to miss any of it.
I have competed at a Winter Olympics before. I was lucky enough to go to the 2014 games in Sochi. It was an incredible experience and I hope I can go this time and perform at my best and get a good result.
- All going to plan, when will you leave to fly to South Korea for the Olympics?
If all goes to plan I fly on the 7th February. The competitions for the qualifying process are now done. I feel like I have done all I can. So it is just a waiting game. It goes to a selection panel and they review everyone individually and then they should make an announcement on the 24th of January.
- What events are you hoping to compete in at the Winter Olympics? What events will you want to watch?
My event is Ski Halfpipe. But I will hopefully be going to watch as many different events as possible. Ski and Snowboard Slopestyle will be amazing I think, and we have some real contenders in that so I will definitely be going to support those guys.
- How have the qualifying events been?
In general, I feel the qualifying events have been good. I had a few hiccups here and there but nothing to extreme. The weather has co-operated in most of them and I have managed to put a run down in every single one so I haven’t been too stressed throughout the whole process.
- What’s the best parts to being a professional skier?
The best bit is being able to spend so much time on skis. It is what I have done my whole life and to be able to do what you love for a living is incredible. Travel is also another major bonus. Some of the places I have been I would never have expected to go. I have been very fortunate to be able to do this for the last 8 years of my life!
- Where are your favourite spots to ski in the world?
My favourite is Laax. No questions about it. The park is amazing, the lap is quick, the halfpipe is perfect and there is always a great group of people there to ride with. It can be a very social place as well so when you want to switch off and relax, it is easy to do so with your friends.
- What has been the highlight of your career so far?
The highlight so far has definitely been the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. It was an experience that I find difficult to describe sometimes. The whole event was enormous, it was such an honour to represent GB at an Olympics and it is something I will never forget. The highlight of the games for me was being able to put down the best run I could on the day. That made me enjoy the whole thing more. I would have been devastated if I hadn’t done my absolute best and I would’ve felt like I had let everyone down that had supported me over the years. To be able to say thanks to them by putting my best run down still puts a smile on my face now.
- When you are not skiing/snowboarding what do you like to do?
It has been so long since I have spent any real time off my skis that it is hard to say. I read a lot now. I think all the travel has made me a bit of a book worm. I have recently taken up golf as well. But I am absolutely terrible. So if I am not skiing or doing something related to skiing that would be what you would find me doing.
- What advice would you give anyone in the UK that wants to start skiing or snowboarding?
My advice would be to get down to your local dry slope or snow dome straight away. Go and have a look, see what offers they are running to do with lessons or taster sessions. If you are still in school, go and speak to someone in the physical education department. Chances are your school will run some lessons or offer a snowsports trip. Check online as well. There is always something going on close to you. Be proactive and you never know where it will take you!
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