Buchan reminisces about hero Wakeham as he looks ahead to PyeongChang 2018
Freestyle Skiing

Buchan reminisces about hero Wakeham as he looks ahead to PyeongChang 2018

08 December 2017 / 16:14

Murray Buchan remembers when he caught the Olympic bug and he’s got a VHS to thank for it.

Sport produces heroes and Buchan’s was Dan Wakeham – the first British male to compete in Olympic snowboarding.

Wakeham qualified for the Turin 2006 Olympic Games at the age of 25 and enabled a new generation of athletes to believe it was possible. Buchan was one of those, sat in front of the TV with stars in his eyes.

The Scot had started on snow some seven years previously, but unlike his idol, Buchan preferred skis and won his first British Championship title in 2008.

Now at 25, the same age as Wakeham was in Turin, Buchan’s dream has already become a reality.

He made his Olympic debut in Sochi, finishing 17th as halfpipe made its debut, and only since then has he understood the gravity of his achievements.

“It was 2006 in Turin and it wasn’t actually watching Dan Wakeham live, but he brought out a video afterwards and it actually gives me tingles thinking about it because it’s such a special thing,” he said.

“He brought out a video of him competing and his build up and when he’s talking about the Olympics, he’s saying you walk in and you realise the scale of the event and you realise how big a deal it is.

“For people back home it’s hard for you to get your head round and then you’ve got all your mates back home who are watching it on the TV, sending you messages and you realise that actually a lot of people do care.

“A lot of people want you do to well and the messages you get are so nice, there’s just such a good buzz.

“Watching it back then, I thought how amazing it would be to go to an Olympics and now looking back after Sochi, you can relate and it still gives you sort of tingles thinking about it."

But while Sochi holds fond memories, it’s time for Buchan to look forward with the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games just around the corner.

The last four years have seen Buchan grafting and perfecting his craft, allowing him a much more relaxed road to Korea.

Team GB will send perhaps its strongest Winter Olympic team ever to PyeongChang, with Buchan hoping to become a two-time Olympian.

And despite his youthful age, Buchan can tap into the experiences he lived and breathed in Sochi and should he make it to PyeongChang, he’ll be prepared and hungry for success.

“I think I am in a much better place now than I was for Sochi, I have the results,” he said.

“I learnt a lot from it though I didn’t go in with the intention of it being a learning experience, I wanted to do well and to be honest I actually thought I performed ok.

“It’s all well and good dwelling on the ones that you’ve done but you want to do even better and you want to keep doing better.

“The shared expectation on the team is a great thing and it shows that the team is doing something right.

“It does share the load in terms of stress and pressure and there’s no one person leading the charge but at the same time everyone puts a lot of pressure on themselves to do well.”

Sportsbeat 2017

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