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Aussies to hit Mammoth pipe as James aims for another podium

2 February 2017

SNOWBOARD: At just 22 Scotty James keeps racking up the accolades.

After becoming one of the nation’s youngest ever Winter Olympians in 2010, James competed at his second Games in 2014 and went on to become World Champion in 2015.

It wasn’t much of a surprise then when he went out and backed up his World Cup silver to start 2017 with X Games gold last weekend in Aspen.

“It was overwhelming,” James said.

“I had so much support from Australia as well as the US on the back of the event. It was quite special having some of the family at the bottom there watching too.”

The young gun will now look to continue that hot form when he hits the pipe at the Mammoth Mountain World Cup event in California this weekend.

“I am feeling great on my board and the past couple of competitions have been a result of my preparation for this year. It's been an awesome ride so far and looking forward to more.

“I have come down with a bit of a cold post X Games but I have been up riding the practice days. I really love Mammoth and the pipe here and am excited for this week.”

James will be joined by rising star and 2016 Winter Youth Olympic silver medallist Emily Arthur, three-time Olympian Holly Crawford and Sochi 2014 Olympians Nate Johnstone and Kent Callister.

Arthur recently finished 19th at the opening World Cup event of the season in Copper Mountain and will be looking to push her way up the rankings.

“It's been super fun being out in Mammoth and the pipe is insanely good,” said Arthur.

“It’s also nice as I have been based here this season so it's kind of like being on my home turf.”

“It's such a stacked field out here I'm just planning to go out, land some runs and have fun. Hopefully it will pay off.”

Like many of her Australian counterparts Arthur was stoked to see one of her teammates rise to the top of the sport.

“Scotty has been killing the game and it's so rad to see, it's kept Australia frothing and me too for sure.

“Hopefully some of his success rubs off on us.”

For Crawford the event will be a chance to get back on the snow as she competes at her first FIS event in just under 12 months as she looks to push towards a fourth Olympic appearance in PyeongChang.

“I’ve only been back on my board for a little over a week since early March last year so I’m just hoping to get back into the swing of things and hopefully come out with a good result,” Crawford said.

“The pipe has been really good here and practice has gone well. Unfortunately there is some bad weather coming in so fingers crossed it holds off.”

The women’s qualification has been shifted to Thursday morning AEDT with the men’s event still currently scheduled for Friday morning AEDT.

Matt Bartolo

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