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Morris ready to soar to new heights

15 February 2018

AERIAL SKIING: With Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 already under his belt, David Morris is ready to soar to new heights at his third Olympic Games at PyeongChang.

While the 33-year-old Sochi silver medallist undoubtedly feels the pressure ahead of Saturday’s qualifications, Morris said he’s taking the time to smell the roses.

“I’d never thought I’d make one [Olympics],” he said.

“I’m just out there having a good time. At the end of the day it’s still a win but to walk away with a medal would be fantastic.”

While the lead up to the first day of competition has been “less than ideal” as the Victorian adjusts to a new site and unpredictable winds, Morris says he just needs to “switch on a little bit more” and that all will be well.

“It’s challenging and it’s not insane,” he said.

“It’s a little bit of windy here but it keeps changing directions … [it’s] really hard for the coaches and athletes to adjust.

“We need very specific speeds and it makes it very challenging to do a nice jump when you have no idea what speed you’re going to hit the jump pad.”

If there’s one thing the aerial skier is looking forward to most about competing this week, it’s having the opportunity to showcase his skills in front of the world.

“I love big crowds, they get me going,” he said.

“I tend to pay more attention when people turn up, I like to show off.

“Being the third time around, there’s a lot more experience coming in and a little bit more pressure because I’ve done it once on a good day and they expect me to repeat it.

“I’m just enjoying myself because it’s a pretty awesome venue. I’m soaking it up, I want to remember being here and what it was like.”

While there might be the occasional bumpy landing, Morris is keen to assure those watching that it’s never as bad as it looks.

“We have a big chopped up landing hill, it’s quite steep so we don’t hit it flat,” he said.

“It can hurt but that’s the reason we are in the gym working out all the time. Our gym work isn’t so that we can do the skills, we go in to get strong so that when we mess up we can stand again.

“If you’re not strong enough to take the hit they [coaches] won’t send you off.”

Though the conditions have prevented Morris testing his five-twists, three-flips jump on the site he said he’s ready to pull it off should he make Sunday’s top six final.

Men’s aerials qualifications kick off on Saturday 17th February with finals on Sunday.

David Barden

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