Scotty reaches the snowboarding summit

Published: 14 September 2017

Scotty hanging out with a bunch of keen young boarders

World champ takes grommets under his wing

Scotty hanging out with a bunch of keen young boarders
Image © 2017 The Project

You may not have heard of him, but Scotty James is an Australian sporting superstar who could be our next Olympic gold medallist.

In 2010, Scotty became Australia’s youngest male Olympian in 50 years, when he competed in the Snowboard Halfpipe at the Vancouver Winter Olympics at the tender age of 15.

“It was pretty overwhelming for me, plenty of pressure from lots of different sources and also from myself, I didn’t want to let anyone down,” Scotty says. “A lot of responsibility for a kid at that age.”

Scotty put in a fantastic performance to finish 21st, and since then has gone from strength to strength. He’s taken out two consecutive world championships, and he heads into next year’s Olympics in South Korea as a red-hot favourite.

But Scotty recognises the impact that coaches and mentors have had on his development, both on and off the slopes. And these days, he’s keen to pay that knowledge forward.

That’s why when The Project caught up with him, he was giving a group of boarding grommets some tips on what it takes to make it to the peak. And that’s a lot more than just perfecting your carving.

“Going to my first Olympics at 15 years old, my perspective of snowboarding changed a lot, it became my job,” Scottie explains, “and there’s a lot of things that maybe I didn’t quite enjoy, and that’s something I think for anyone, in business and sport or whatever, you’ve got to be happy off your board and on your board to be successful.”

Given that he currently holds three of the four major world snowboard halfpipe crowns, an Australian first, Scotty’s clearly taken every lesson to heart. He’s pulling out all the stops to complete the set with Olympic gold in February.

And there’s a whole generation of eager kids keen to carve out a career behind him.