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