Bar­wood has big push ahead

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

Bar­wood has been inun­dated with mes­sages from home and had been moved by the sup­port he has re­ceived. There was no way he’d be com­pet­ing at an Olympic Games if it weren’t for the sup­port of a wide range of people, in­clud­ing his par­ents. ‘‘It’s been amaz­ing and I’m re­ally grate­ful for that,’’ he said. Fa­ther Marty Bar­wood said he and wife Anne had been skyp­ing their son reg­u­larly. ‘‘He’s ac­knowl­edged he’s very young to be do­ing alpine. He’s 21 and they peak about 26-27. But he’ll give it heaps. ‘‘He’s got good points in both but will def­i­nitely have a bet­ter start num­ber in slalom. He ex­pected about 80 or 90 would be com­pet­ing and Bar­wood would prob­a­bly start in the 60s. ‘‘By the time he gets a run the course will be pretty cut up. Though a bit de­pends on snow con­di­tions, some­times it favours the guys who go last.’’ It’s a big ask for a boy who was about 10 when the fam­ily moved from Aus­tralia to Queen­stown and he went ski­ing for the first time. His par­ents signed him up for the Queen­stown Alpine Ski Team with­out read­ing the fine print and not re­al­is­ing that he was sup­posed to be able to ski the whole moun­tain and par­al­lel ski. By the time the two-week train­ing was up, the er­ror was fig­ured out and he was ski­ing with the best. ‘‘He loved it then and he still loves it now.’’ Now at the Olympics he was en­joy­ing the luxuries of be­ing a mem­ber of the Olympic team in­clud­ing hav­ing a ski tech­ni­cian and mas­sages. ‘‘These are things he wouldn’t nor­mally have. He doesn’t work to earn money. He has no spon­sor­ship from the Govern­ment so ba­si­cally he has a few small spon­sors then I make up the short­fall which is mas­sive amounts of money. We’d like to think that will change in the fu­ture.’’ Bar­wood’s com­mitt­ment to ski rac­ing was al­len­com­pass­ing and would see him through this week. ‘‘He knows what’s re­quired of him. It’s a big ask, there’re a lot of world champ ath­letes there. They have a huge amount more ex­pe­ri­ence than he’s got. He’s go­ing to be push­ing up­hill to get close to those guys.’’ His par­ents would prob­a­bly watch Adam’s first race at the Speights Ale House with friends and the slalom race, at about 1.45am on Sun­day, on the in­ter­net at home. Mr Bar­wood said he hoped Adam would fin­ish with­out any in­juries. ‘‘And if he fin­ishes well that makes it re­ally ex­cit­ing.’’

Photo: JEFF SHIFFRIN

Com­pet­i­tive: Queen­stown skier Adam Bar­wood con­tests the slalom in aNorth Amer­i­can Cup race Vail, Colorado, in De­cem­ber 2013. He came 10th af­ter start­ing 39th.

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