James 'Woodsy' Woods learnt his trade on Sheffield’s dry slopes before graduating to the professional ranks and travelling the world with his sport. Woodsy has gone on to win World Championship silver, medal at two X-Games and claim an FIS overall world title. The 21-year-old is now preparing for his first Winter Olympics.
Woodsy took time away from his hectic schedule to discuss Sochi 2014, inspiration and his hair with us.
Can you describe yourself in 20 words?
That’s difficult, I babble a lot! I’m Woodsy, a freestyle skier, making the most of this whole thing, making the most of life and it’s wicked!
Were you inspired by London 2012?
London 2012 was so special and such a fantastic atmosphere. We did so incredibly well, which is just more than just the icing on the cake, it’s icing for days! It was so special, I’ve always watched the Olympics and enjoyed it as it’s the very pinnacle of sport and it’s the way a nation presents itself to the world.
Knowing that I’m a skier, it was always about the X-Games and that was my world, but the idea that I might get the chance to go to the Olympics dawned on me during London 2012, which was probably the most ‘wow this is happening’ moment for me, I certainly consider myself as part of the inspired generation!
What are the main differences between the X-Games and the Olympics?
For me personally, there’s no difference, I’m going to go and enjoy both events and give them my all. But the Olympics are truly global, the pinnacle of elite sport, it’s what competition is all about, you get your slot, you give it a bash and you do it just as much for your country as you do for yourself, the flag is by your name and your nation is behind you.
What are your personal expectations for Sochi 2014?
I certainly want to go and do my absolute best. Other than I just to take the whole experience in. Obviously it’s also a massive chance to expose the sport and myself to a global audience. The competition out there is going to be crazy, competing against the world’s best, testing myself, stretching myself, pushing myself, but I’ll be drawing on all my energy!
How has Lottery funding helped you and your sport?
It’s been fantastic and I genuinely believe the most beneficial thing from it is, yes the support we’ll get, but also that we get to go to the Olympics.
I think it’s also the recognition that we represent GB as a whole and the actual recognition that we have the country behind us. I’m very proud to be from GB, I’m a proud Sheffield lad and it’s certainly made me appreciate that.
As a sport, we’ve always strived for something, but the Olympics have given us that goal. With the support from UK Sport and the National Lottery it’s made this real and I think that’s pretty special.
Finally, can you tell us a quirky fact about yourself?
Have you seen my haircut? I don’t do my own hair as there’s not much to do with it, I generally get someone to give me a hand shaving the back but otherwise it’s all done by Woodsy!
Follow British Ski andSnowboards’ James ‘Woodsy’ Woods on Twitter @JamesWoodsy