Sochi 2014 hope Woods inspired by Olympic race walker Kirdyapkin
James Woods took his own inspiration for an Olympic dream as Sergey Kirdyapkin crossed the line to take gold at London 2012
As Russia’s Sergey Kirdyapkin crossed the line to take gold in the men’s 50km walk at London 2012, James Woods took his own inspiration for an Olympic dream.
The British slopestyle skier was sat in the stands as part of the British Olympic Association’s Ambition programme and admits to bursting into tears at the sight of another athlete pushing themselves to the limit.
And the Sochi medal hope says watching other sports stars at their peak gives him the motivation and drive to push himself further, even something as different as speed walking.
“It was one of the most amazing experiences of I’ve ever had simply because these guys were giving it everything,” said Woods, a silver medallist at last season’s World Championships.
“I watched it and obviously it’s absolutely the most distant thing from what I do, but I was in tears just watching these guys screaming. I was even screaming myself horse.
“It’s fantastic to watch someone who’s good at what they do, whatever it is.
“For me it was about watching the Olympics and seeing people do that and achieve their dream.
“I always think ‘wow, this is awesome, I’m really enjoying this’ and I hope people have that same outlook with me and what I do. I want to give someone else that feeling.”
Woods might appeared laid-back but along with coach Pat Sharples he has left nothing to chance in preparation for next year’s Games.
He spent the whole southern hemisphere winter skiing in New Zealand, then headed to Austria before spending Christmas and the New Year in Colorado – with next month’s X Games the next target.
Last season’s performances – Woods also won the overall World Cup title – have secured him the selection standard but Team GB won’t confirm their final Olympic selections until late next month.
“I’m in Colorado for Christmas and New Year, just working hard and making sure everything is spot on for the X Games and Sochi,” he added.
“It’s just going to be me and my coach Pat [Sharples], which will be great – we can knuckle down for a couple of weeks now and have a real solid session.
“Regarding the Games, my preparation is about getting the most out of the months and weeks leading up to it and I’ve definitely got that goal in sight.”