While others may have opted for an extended break over the summer following their Sochi 2014 exploits, it was all systems go for British freestyle skier James Machon ahead of the new season.
Machon was chosen alongside Murray Buchan as Team GB’s male representatives for the first ever Olympic freestyle skiing halfpipe competition at Sochi 2014.
The 23-year-old twice underwent surgery on his knee after a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in 2012 which also led to a life threatening mid-diagnosed infection.
He returned to the pipe just two months before Sochi 2014, and then fractured his thumb during the last Olympic qualifying event.
But despite the difficult road to Sochi, he managed to place 23rd in the preliminaries, six places behind teammate Buchan, leaving Machon confident that even better times are to follow.
“It was really mad for me because I just found out two weeks before that I was going so it was really exciting,” he said.
“My goal was just to qualify and so I’m pretty happy to have done that and now I can just move on to bigger and better things.
“Finding out last minute was more exciting rather than nervy. Once I got out there I felt pretty at home with the team and all the athletes and just got into my zone.
“It’s the first time that action sports have been in the Olympics so it’s really exciting now to see the future of these sports and the things that we can achieve coming from England.”
And while he might have faced the bumpiest of roads on his way to Russia, Machon believes he couldn’t be in better shape heading into this season.
“This summer I’ve been training really hard so hopefully I’ll have overtaken a few of my competitors,” he added.
“I’ve got loads of new tricks and plans which I’ve been working on this summer so if I can get those into my run by 2018 hopefully I’ll have a good chance of a medal.
“It’s really important to get the repetition and the training as much as possible really, especially on snow, so we can compete against the top guys which are the Americans.
“I’ve been doing so much training over the summer, more than I really needed to do so I’m really ready for it.”
© Sportsbeat 2014