Proud James snowboards to Olympic bronze
SCOTTY James has won bronze for Australia in the half-pipe to become the country’s first men’s snowboard medallist at a Winter Olympics.
James got his medal with his first run of 92 points but ultimately couldn’t match the silky skills of American Shaun White who snatched his third Games half-pipe gold with his last run of 97.75.
Japan’s Ayumu Hirano was second with 95.25 points.
The gold medal was very much on the line going into the final run.
James had his chance to move further up the podium but fell on his final effort.
“I came out and did it the Australian way and gave it a real hard crack, I was expecting a really good battle and a battle it was,” he said.
“I wish I kinda landed my second run but it is what it is.
“I’m just grateful to be standing up on the podium.”
An emotional James said it had been a “tough journey” to get to the Olympics, but the experience had been an “incredible ride”.
“It’s (been) my goal to come out here and ride as best as I can and fly my Australian flag in the sport that is not necessarily done by many Australians,” he said.
“I’m very proud of my country and where I come from but I can assure you I am just getting started, you can expect to see a lot more of me in the future.”
James becomes the second Australian medallist of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics after Matt Graham won silver in the moguls.
It is Australia’s 14th Winter Olympics medal.
Another podium finish in South Korea will ensure the team will at least match the three-medal performance of Sochi four years ago.
Fellow Australian Kent Callister was 10th in the men’s snowboard half-pipe.
Scotty James celebrates on the podium after claiming bronze.