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Jay Hebblethwaite Blog Nov/Dec 22'

Jay Hebblethwaite Blog Nov/Dec 22'

Ski Exchange |

"This January I had the amazing opportunity to represent Great Britain at the World Winter University Games in America. In the runup to this competition, alongside a full-time degree, I trained as much as I could – multiple strength and conditioning sessions every week, sending Big Air tricks at the Belgium training facility and visiting as many of the UK artificial ski slopes to fine tune my rail game. I had to postpone my January exams to August and do my coding coursework while traveling to training in order to compete but the amazing experience I had was well worth it!

Thea, Olivia, Dan and I were the four freestyle skiers and our coach, Bobby, representing GB. With both Scott (skier cross) and the Men’s Curling team getting gold alongside Thea bagging Bronze in Freeski Slopestyle it was the most successful medal count since the Games began 63 years ago!

There was only two days of practice on the course before 4 days straight of competition. This didn’t provide long to try and create then practice a consistent flowing run that ticked all the judges boxes (switch hits, left and right spins, different axis, rails and grab variations). Unfortunately, on the last run of the first day of practice my teammate, Dan torn his ACL (knee ligament). Hopefully his rehab goes well along with all the other injured athletes. It was challenging dealing with the pressure of my first big competition, especially since I had paid so much to compete, but I still managed to go through the whole experience with a smile on my face and enjoy it. 

There was a small but very talented field competitors - it was great to ski amongst World Cup and even Olympic riders. The course was extremely fun to ride, even if the jumps were on the small side, the rails were perfect. I landed my slopestyle run clean in qualifiers, ending up 3rd after run 1 but in finals I had a hand drag that meant my score was docked and I came 8th. In Big Air Finals I put down 2 clean tricks and was only 3 points off podium going into run 3. Trying to land my biggest trick – double cork 1260, in what was essentially a snowstorm on a jump that was quite small proved to be too much and I finished in a respectable 4th place. I now have points for the next level of competition and am really looking forward to the rest of the season. I already have Torino, Italy 2025 University Games in the calendar and hopefully this time I can podium!"

Jay Hebblethwaite