Reflective Woods thinking of absent friends in PyeongChang
Freestyle Skiing

Reflective Woods thinking of absent friends in PyeongChang

17 February 2018 / 16:49
James Woods wants to dedicate his Olympics to absent friends and friends back home.


Woods is Britain’s most successful skier, a two-time world and three-time X Games medallist and a World Cup winner too.

He’s come a long from the boy who told his parents he was quitting school for a life on the slopes.

“I’ve got friends who have passed away doing this sport that they love,” he said, ahead of Sunday’s freestyle skiing slopestyle.

“Whenever I ski I have this feeling they are always there with me and always have my back.

“I think we're all very aware of the risks involved in what we do and we’re all on our own path and doing our thing.

“I still have all my friends back in Sheffield too. There’s a core group of ten guys who meet up at The Notty House every time I’m back.

“One of the lads works at Aldi and had to put my poster up the other day, we had a good laugh about that.

“I was very young when I making these huge life changing decisions that could have screwed my life up and they were all there for me.”
Woods admits to being an adrenaline junkie, surfing and skydiving is how he gets his kicks when he’s not flinging himself off 30 metre jumps in a blur of arms and skis.

Four years ago he suffered a hip injury during training for his event but skied through the pain to finish fifth - the best ever performance by a British male skier at the Olympics.

“The last Olympics I shouldn’t have competed, I was injured, I should have got the hell out of there but I stayed,” he said.

“I’m very proud of myself looking back, fifth at the Olympics, what a fantastic result for a kid from Sheffield.

“This time I’m fit and I just want to put down the run of my life and see where that gets me.”

Woods - who learned his trade on Sheffield’s dry ski slope - clearly enjoys his jetset lifestyle and is one of the most popular skiers on the circuit. Chilled and laid-back and yet focused and driven, he admits the Olympic experience can take him out of his comfort zone.

“I have to take off my prima donna Woodsy head and put on national pride and remember I'm skiing for the country,” he said.

“The main priority is trying to inspire the younger generation to get outside and have a go.”

Sportsbeat 2018