Morgan ready to have some fun - but after the Olympics
February 5, 2014 15:15 pm
Billy Morgan’s Winter Olympic pursuit has almost broken him but he’s ready for one last adventure before taking a holiday – before bidding to do it all over again.
The 24-year-old is among four snowboarders that will get Britain up and running at Sochi 2014 in tomorrow's slopestyle qualifiers but his journey to the Games has been far from straightforward.
A matter of months before being selected on the British team, Morgan snapped the anterior cruciate ligament and media cruciate ligament in his right knee.
He has put off surgery to make his Olympic debut and will open his slopestyle, which like Morgan is making its maiden Games appearance, campaign before the flame is even lit at Friday's opening ceremony.
Morgan will then ease the pressure on his knee by taking time off from the rigours of competition after the Games but he doesn’t want his first Olympic appearance to be his last.
“I will probably go to the US Open after the Olympics and then hang out and find some snow and ride for fun,” said Morgan, who finished fourth at last year’s World Championships.
“I will probably do some filming and feel what it was like to fall in love with snowboarding before it hurt so much. It will be good to just hang out.
“But I hope to be able to go to more than one Games. I spoke to my coach and I am competing against 17-year-olds as a 24-year-old.
“But there is no reason why I can’t carry on snowboarding into my late 20s and early 30s if I stay healthy and up with the competition.
“All of us riders get along and are excited for each other and for snowboarding. We’re all together and excited to take part in slopestyle at the Games.”
However, one of Morgan's biggest rivals in Sochi has withdrawn from the slopestyle event.
Morgan described the course as 'scary' during an early practice run and two-time Olympic halfpipe champion Shaun White, who was looking for a gold medal double in Russia, clearly agrees and has decided to focus on the defence of his title from Turin and Vancouver.
It's another big name absence following the withdrawal of three-time X Games gold medallist Norwegian Torstein Horgmo, who broke his collarbone during practice.
"After much deliberation with my team, I have made the decision to focus solely on trying to bring home the third straight gold medal in halfpipe for Team USA," said White.
"The difficult decision to forego slopestyle is not one I take lightly as I know how much effort everyone has put into holding the slopestyle event for the first time in Olympic history, a history I had planned on being part of."
© Sportsbeat 2014