David Morris Q&A
AAN: Congratulations, what an achievement, how does it feel to be an Olympic silver medallist?
DM: It’s a relief! We all dream that our training, blood, sweat and tears pays off and mine has after 12 years of fighting hard for it.
AAN: Can you let the Australian Alpine News readers know a little about you and how you ended up becoming an aerials skier?
DM: I’ve skied since I was three and been a gymnast since the age of four. I was never fantastic at gymnastics but I had the body awareness needed for bigger skills. Kirstie Marshall walked into my gym one day and saw me tumbling and flipping around when I was about 19 years old and asked me if I’d like to try aerial skiing, as there were no boys in the sport in Australia.
Kirstie offered to train me for free in her spare time and she introduced me to the right people and backed me since day one.
AAN: Coming in to Sochi did you feel confident and ready for competition and did you feel that you had a good lead in to the games?
DM: I was definitely ready and well prepared to compete in Sochi and had no doubts in my mind that I would perform better than my Vancouver 2010 campaign, where I finished thirteenth.
I was ready to take on the day and I was confident in my ability to perform under pressure, as I seem to be able to do on a weekly basis.
AAN: Take us through that night? Day 10 of competition? It was a long night for us watching back here in Australia, but what was it like for you?
DM: It was a very long night for me too, but luckily I was well prepared on every level; physically, mentally and I had put in the countless hours of training to be there that night.
I landed my first jump (full-double full-full, three flips and four twists) and finished equal first in the initial qualification round which put me straight through to the finals.
Anyone who wasn’t in the initial top six then had to jump again in another qualification round, how-
ever, I went inside and lay down, not paying any attention to the rest of the competition, I just smiled and closed my eyes because I’d already achieved a result higher than in Vancouver.
I was an Olympic finalist and anything from here on was a bonus.
AAN: Did you expect such a great result?
DM: I don’t think we can ever expect a result given the nature of the sport, but I do believe I deserved it as I’ve worked hard and put in the time and effort.
I jumped on days when the weather wasn’t great and others stayed inside, I jumped when I was sore and really struggled to be out there and that’s how I earned the silver, over years of doing this and slowly making little gains over everyone.
People ask me what it’s like not to get the gold medal, like I lost it and came second instead, but when the competition started that day, everyone was in last place and no one is guaranteed a medal, even if you think they will get it.
We’re all in last and have to earn a place in the next round, each time beating people.
I earned silver that day and I was beaten by my friend, Anton Kushnir, who most certainly earned the gold.
AAN: Finally, will you be aiming to head over to South Korea for the next Winter Olympics?
DM: I will take this year off, rest my body and my brain until I am in the right headspace to dedicate myself to another gruelling few years. We have a strong team now and I look forward to watching their progress this year and hope they get the results they deserve and have worked for.
I want to return and I want to get a gold medal, so I will rest and recover and do whatever it takes in order to be able to return and complete that goal. The sporting world has definitely not seen the last of me.
AERIALIST: David Morris took out the silver medal in the Men’s aerials final at the Sochi Winter Olympics earlier this year. Still riding the wave of adulation from winning an Olympic silver medal in Sochi, David Morris took some time out to speak with the Australian Alpine News about what it takes to podium at an Olympics