Buchan recalls Olympic phone call that changed everything

Murray Buchan remembers receiving the phone call that changed his sporting life - and now can't wait to make his dream a reality.

Buchan was back home in Scotland when he received a call from coach Pat Sharples informing him that ski halfpipe, his specialist discipline, had finally been given the green light by Olympic organisers.

Snowboarding halfpipe has been part of the Games since Nagano 1998 and skiers had waged a long battle to get recognition.

Now reigning British champion Buchan, alongside team-mate James Machon, will get the chance to make history, with his event scheduled for February 18 at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

"I've always loved the the Olympics and been glued to it on television but it was never really a part of my thinking as an athlete," said Buchan.

"Then I got the phone call from Pat, I remember he just said 'we're go for Sochi'.

"That call changed everything for me. There is no bigger event than the Olympics and when you look at the statistics of how many people will watch the Games, it's just mind boggling.

"Obviously I'd like to do well here but four years time is when I could be a medal potential.

"I don't want to be unrealistic but I also don't want to undersell myself either. It's all about how you ski, if you ski well then the results will follow.

"I know I've got a good chance of making the finals and anything can happen on the day and some people will be affected by the pressure.

"I just need to stay composed because I know how much pressure and nerves can affect your performance."

Buchan took a major step towards Olympic selection with his 18th place at last year's World Championships in Norway and recently secured a career high World Cup finish with a 13th in Calgary.

"I've tried to keep pushing hard this season and get better and better results," he added.

"All our risks are calculated and I won't be going for broke. It's about skiing hard but making sure what you are doing what is within your capabilities."

© Sportsbeat 2014