With the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games being postponed to 2021, we thought we could talk about some previous Olympians and how they embody certain Olympic values. This third post of seven features James Woods and his respect for his sport.
Name: James Woods
Event: Freestyle skiing
Hometown: Sheffield, England
With multiple World Cup, World Championship, and X-Games medals under his belt, team GB’s James Woods is one of the world’s leading freestyle skiers. Woods represented Great Britain in the slopestyle competition at the Olympic Games in 2014 and 2018 and placed first last year in the 2019 Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships.
When he qualified for the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, Woods was well on his way to securing a medal. Unfortunately, he injured his hip during training, which meant he was unable to hit his full range of tricks during his performance. Despite all this, Woods still placed fifth and left the 2014 competition with a new respect for the physical demands of his sport. It would take colossal commitment for him to return to the slopes on top form, but he was determined to regain 100% of his strength.
Woods began to make the gym, healthy eating and sound sleep part of his daily lifestyle. When he returned to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Woods qualified at finals with ease. He went on to beat his previous performance by placing fourth, and the next year secured a gold medal at the 2019 Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships.
How did Woods’ new-found respect for his sport pay off?
Woods’ deep-seated respect for what it truly means to be an Olympic athlete inspired him to train like never before after his first Olympic appearance. Over the next four years, Woods pushed himself harder than ever and, as a result, came back fighting fit. This unwavering work ethic paid off and ultimately led him to global recognition in the world of freestyle skiing.
Shortly after winning gold at last year’s Snowboarding World Championships, Woods announced that he was going to ‘take some time off’ from skiing. However, Woods hasn’t officially retired, and we hope to see more of him at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing!