April 19 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, February 6, 2014
It was the day the global winter sports elites came together in Sochi for the first day of the Winter Olympics.
But watching the action on TV at home today was a bittersweet experience for one champion snowboarder whose chances of qualifying for the Games were wiped-out by a perforated appendix which struck him in the New Year.
Kyle Wise, who lives in Burgh St Peter near Beccles and trains every week at the Norfolk Snowsports Club in Trowse, started skiing at the age of three, graduated to snowboarding at eight, and has not skied since.
He said his season was going well, and he had qualified for the world cup series of events and had accumulated 53 of the 100 points he needed to qualify for Sochi, when disaster struck.
He said: “I came home and had a break for Christmas and then I went back out to France and a week after being in France my appendix decided to pop.
“I have been off since then. I have been off for a month, now. The Olympics was a long shot for this year anyway. I have got higher hopes for the next Olympics, but it just ground to a halt completely.
“I can’t compete for the rest of the season probably at the level I can do. I might be able to get back by mid-March hopefully but it will be too late for the Olympics unfortunately.”
The 24-year-old competes in the snowboardcross discipline, where up to six competitors race each other to the bottom of a course which includes bumps, jumps and sharp corners.
He said: “It’s exciting. You definitely have to concentrate a lot and be in the zone and hopefully you overcome any fears of the track if it’s a scary one. When you are racing against other people if you are not out in front and you are behind them you just seek the little gap to get by them.
“If you can find that gap you can take it, but you’ve got to be careful because you don’t want to push them. You are not supposed to do that.”
He was philosophical about not being able to join his team-mates in Russia.
He said: “I’m not completely bitter about it. You are just excited for them because they have done so well. It would have been great to have been part of that, but I will just have to wait my turn. It wasn’t meant to be, I guess.”
Mr Wise recommended that other people also watching the action from their living rooms look out for British snowboard competitors Jamie Nicholls, Billy Morgan and Jennie Jones and Amiee Fuller.
What do the Winter Olympics mean to you? Email email@example.com