Slopestyle snowboarder Jamie Nicholls may have exceeded all expectations by finishing sixth at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics but believes he is more than just a park rat.
The 21-year-old became a surprise success story in Russia last February when he stomped two outstanding runs to add to a record-breaking Olympics for Great Britain – even sitting in silver medal position at one point.
But the kid from Bradford, Yorkshire, who learnt to ride on dry and indoor ski slopes, insists his performances in the park are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his snowboarding ambition.
“I don’t just see myself as a park rider,” he said. “It would bore me if I was just a park rider. It’s not just all about the Olympics for me. I’m a snowboarder that likes to do everything.
I want to push snowboarding and film on street rails, in the backcountry, doing projects that haven’t been done before
“I want to push snowboarding and film on street rails, in the backcountry, doing projects that haven’t been done before.
“I’ve got one in mind for this winter which hopefully happens and it’s going to be in London. It’s going to be huge.”
Following his Sochi success Nicholls quickly got the chance to make some of his dreams reality by releasing the documentary Forged in Steel.
The film shows his versatility with park footage, backcountry trips and an incredible street project at indoor ski slope The Snow Centre near London.
And it proves that, even in a country with no mountains or snow, anything is possible thanks to the UK’s indoor and dry slopes – a fact that Nicholls is determined to shout about.
“They are great places to learn, it’s perfect,” Nicholls added. “I started there and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for dry slopes and indoors. Everything is possible.
“Everyone tells me I inspired loads of kids to go and try it and that’s such a nice thing to know you’ve given them that buzz to go snowboarding or skiing.”
Just because Nicholls has set his sights on a variety of projects, that doesn’t mean he has taken his eye off the competition circuit.
The Team GB athlete will compete alongside snowboard teammates Aimee Fuller and Olympic bronze medalist Jenny Jones, as well as skiers James Woods, Katie Summerhayes and Rowan Cheshire, at Dew Tour this weekend.
We are renowned for not having mountains so everyone thinks we’ll be rubbish. But we’re not
And Nicholls reckons the UK crew can continue boosting Britain’s growing reputation on the international snowboard scene with their performances in Breckenridge.
“I’ve been to the Dew Tour a few times now but never been invited before,” he said. “I’m glad they see that I can be one of those invited riders.
“It’s good because we are renowned for not having mountains so everyone thinks we’ll be rubbish. But we’re not.
“We’ve got great facilities like The Snow Centre and all the dry slopes and these places are producing good snowboarders and skiers so there’s no reason why they can’t be competing on a high level.”
Click here to watch Jamie’s awesome new documentary Forged In Steel now!