Published in the Warrandyte Diary, September 2012 issue
Going to the Olympics at 15 was one of many adrenalin rushes experienced by teenage snowboarding sensation Scott James. Recently he enthralled Andersons Creek Primary School students with stories of his travels and achievements in sport. He also found some time to talk with the Diary’s BRIANNA PIAZZA.
HOW did you get involved with snowboarding and when did you decide you wanted to do it professionally?
I started doing competitions when I was about seven and then at 13 I started travelling around the world with snowboarding. I just kept going and loved it. Then I got the opportunity to go to the Olympics in 2010 when I was 15, so it has been a good journey so far.
How did it feel going to the Olympics when you were so young?
It was pretty awesome. I had a really good time when I was there and being in the village at that age was very overwhelming. I was Australia’s youngest male Olympian in 50 years and it was an awesome experience for me when I was so young.
I think snowboarding suits my personality more than any other sport. I think I’m a pretty chilled out person, although now it’s getting more serious now the sport’s in the Olympics. I like the adrenalin and all the things that come along with it like sponsorship, recognition and competitions. Basically, I snowboard because I love it and it’s what I want to do.
Give us a run down of your achievements during your snowboarding career.
I was the Australian Junior Champion for about five years in a row – that was just through school and then, when I was about 13, I travelled and did all the major junior contests and won every one of those in both disciplines – half-pipe and slope-style. I pretty much worked my way up to become the best junior snowboarder in the world for my age, so that’s an accomplishment I’m quite proud of.
Have you ever met snowboarders that have influenced you?
The snowboarding competitions aren’t as strict with security like other sports, so it’s cool how at such a young age you have the opportunity to speak with some well-known snowboarders – guys like Danny Davis and Shaun White. I mean, when I was 13, I was able to pretty much hang out with the best snowboarders in the world and it was never an issue. It’s pretty cool because when I was younger I used to look up to them and now they are my competition.
Where is your favourite place to snowboard?
I like home best – Warrandyte is my most favourite place in the world, but from a snowboarding perspective I’d have to say probably Breckenridge and all the other resorts in Colorado. There are quite a few good resorts in Europe as well so it’s hard to judge what’s best and what’s worst.
What are your plans for the next few years?
I always like to plan what I’m going to do and pretty much my plan is to do the best I can and take what I do as far as I can. I’d like to win a gold medal at either the next Olympics or the one after that. I’m still young, so it might even be the one after that. I’ll just see where snowboarding takes me, and hopefully it will work out for me.