Sport Winter Olympics 2018 Winter Olympics 2018: Steven Bradbury hails Scotty James’ bronze medal effort

Winter Olympics 2018: Steven Bradbury hails Scotty James’ bronze medal effort

Scotty James Winter Olympics
Scotty James poses after winning bronze in South Korea. Photo: Getty
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It can be easy to get caught up in the headlines but it is important to remember that Scotty James won a bronze medal.

To focus on the fact he didn’t win gold doesn’t do his effort in the men’s snowboard halfpipe justice.

It was unusual to see two of his three runs go awry in the final given he is probably the most consistent lander of tricks in the world.

But it is still an excellent effort to win a bronze medal at an Olympic Games.

I thought Scotty had a good strategy after he didn’t go too hard in the first round, and still scored a 92 from the judges.

He went for it from that point but things didn’t work out and that is the theatre of sport.

It was the final I was looking forward to most and it lived up to the hype, with the battle between Scotty, Shaun White and Ayumu Hirano gripping.

Scotty was quite emotional after the race and he certainly has put his hometown of Warrandyte on the map.

I know I had never heard of it until a couple of weeks ago but our flagbearer has made sure most of Australia knows about the sleepy suburb in Melbourne’s east.

He seems a pretty relaxed guy and I loved his attitude going into the race.

I also loved those red boxing gloves he was wearing.

I don’t think Scotty felt any of the pressure on him and I don’t think it made a difference in his performance.

He wasn’t at his best, though, and I do think that once these Games are over and he gets back to Warrandyte, he will be pretty disappointed.

That can be a good thing and can motivate him over the next four years.

I know failing to win in the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer in the 1000m short-track speed-skating, when I was favourite, really spurred me on.

It made me focus on what I needed to improve and I was better as a result.

Scotty James Winter Olympics
Scotty James started brightly in the event. Photo: Getty

That’s what comes with experience.

Scotty has already gained plenty of that, given this is his third Games and he is just 23 years old.

I remember meeting him when he was just 15 at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and I think he will have at least one, if not two or three more Games left in him.

We saw Shaun White win gold at 31 and athletes seem to be lasting longer and longer these days.

What I know about Scotty is that he is a 100 per cent professional athlete – which not all snowboarders are.

He really puts in and in Red Bull, one of his sponsors, he has an amazing support group around him.

I suggest we will see plenty more of him in the green and gold.

The great thing about these Winter Games are that we still have plenty of gold medal chances on the horizon.

Yes, Britt Cox and Scotty may have failed to win gold, but we’ve got Alex Pullin and Jarryd Hughes in the men’s snowboard cross finals on Thursday and then Lydia Lassila and Danielle Scott in the women’s aerials on Friday.

And they are just some of our hopes.

There’s a lot to look forward to over the next week-and-a-half so keep watching. I know I will be!

In 1994, Steven Bradbury was part of the short-track speed skating relay team that won Australia’s first Winter Olympics medal. And in 2002, he became Australia’s first gold medallist at the Winter Games. He will write for The New Daily during Pyeongchang 2018.

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