As the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games grow ever closer, Australia has great hopes for one our newest stars, Snowboarding Halfpipe World Champion, Scotty James. 

Born on July 6th in Warrabdyte Victoria, few could have guessed that Scotty James would have gone on to become one of Australia's great Winter Olympians. Nonetheless, by the age of 3, young Scotty had already developed a fascination with the sport of snowboarding. This early interest may have remained just that, had it not been for Scotty's ever-encouraging father, who recognised his son's passion for the sport.

Scotty James, Athlete Profile

However, after driving to their nearest sports store that stocked snowboarding gear, Scotty's father soon realised that even the smallest board would be too unwieldy for the then three year-old Scotty, but he was not to be defeated so easily. Showing the same determination and practical resourcefulness that would later characterise his son's snowboarding style, Mr James purchased the store's 80cm long storefront display model for just $10.

Scotty would go on to prove his father's faith in him justified. Breaking on to the international snowboarding stage in 2008, when he competed in the FIS World Cup, the Winter X Games, and the Burton European Open when only 14 years old.

By 2010 Scotty - known as Scoota to his family and friends, became renowned as a rising star of the sport. Especially when he achieved a position of 23rd at the FIS Snowboarding World Cup in Kreischberg, Austria. This resulting in a Red Bull sponsorship deal shortly after. Later that year - aged 15, Scotty successfully competed to replace the injured Nate Johnstone in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Then becoming Australia's youngest Olympian in 50 years, and the youngest male competitor at the games that year.

Scotty James, Athlete Profile

The following years would prove challenging for Scotty James, who would spent the northern winter months training in the US at Breckenridge Colorado. This keeping him far from his home town of Melbourne for half the year. In addition to adjusting to the demands of a rising international sports star, Scotty had to contend with a rare condition that can occasionally cause his knee to dislocate, as well as his fair share of injuries.

For the remainder of his teens, Scotty's performance on paper may appear somewhat erratic. This was for the most part due to a rapid growth spurt he experienced during this time. Gaining 20cm in height over just a few years. At a height of 195cm, Scotty is now one of the tallest athletes in his sport.

“There was a bit of time there where I lost my center of gravity. I was feeling a little bit unco on the board,” said Scotty, during an interview with the Herald Sun.

By 2014 Scotty's performance was rapidly improving in both strength and consistency. Achieving his first international podium position - a bronze, at the Snowboard Jamboree. Then bagging a 4th place finish at the Winter X Games in Aspen that same year.

Scotty James, Athlete Profile

The following year Scotty silenced any doubt about his ability to perform at the highest level of his sport. Bringing home a gold medal in the Halfpipe Event at the 2015 World Championships at Kreischberg. Building on his success at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Scotty scored a solid 3rd place on the SuperPipe. A result he would improve upon in 2017, scoring a gold medal in the SuperPipe, following with a bronze in the Dual Slalom event.

Finally, Scotty James cemented his place at the top of his sport with his sights firmly set on 2018 Olympic gold. He became the first person to successfully defend the title of Snowboarding Halfpipe World Champion - taking gold with ease at the 2017 World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain.

Check out some of the gear Scotty will be sporting at the games - in here!

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