With the first competition of the season just a few days away, freestyle snowboarder Lewis Courtier-Jones admits confidence could not be higher after a stellar 2014 on the snow.
The 19-year-old kicked off his year with a 22nd place finish at the Burton European Open in Laax, Switzerland in January.
He then followed that up by taking the senior title at the British Snowboard Halfpipe Championships in Tignes in April as well as finishing third in the freestyle.
Courtier-Jones is certainly no stranger to the big stage having represented Team GB at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2012 in Innsbruck, where he came 14th in halfpipe and 16th in slopestyle.
And after a break over the summer, Courtier-Jones insists it is all systems go for the new season’s curtain raiser – the O’Neill Pleasure Jam – in Dachstein this weekend.
“My first event is the Pleasure Jam in Austria,” he said. “I’m feeling confident, it’s the first competition of the year so it’s a good opportunity to set the benchmark for the rest of the season.
“It was an amazing year, to become the British half pipe champion and third in the slopestyle is beyond what I could have expected.
“The British Championships is one of those events where everyone there is a friend, it’s a whole community coming together and it’s great to compete there.
“I have to keep focused and keep improving. Snowboarding is one of the those sports where you get to travel round a lot which is definitely a benefit as you’re not tied down to one place and continually challenging yourself in different conditions and places.”
Courtier-Jones is just one of a group of young freestyle snow athletes tipped to make an impact for Britain in the coming years leading up to Pyeonchang 2018.
Freestyle snowboarding in particular received a particular boost when Jenny Jones won Britain’s first medal on snow with bronze in Sochi and Courtier-Jones admits 34-year-old is a great role model to look up.
“Jenny winning a medal in Sochi was one the greatest things that could have happened to winter sports in the Britain,” he added.
“I remember watching it and being inspired and I now think we’ve seen a growth in skiing and snowboarding and the athletes.
"I have 2018 in my eyes, that’s one of my main aims and Jenny winning a medal is a great incentive and hopefully benefits British snowboarding, funding and sport as a whole."
© Sportsbeat 2014