James Woods at X Games
James Woods grew up in Sheffield, England, and started skiing at age 10 at Sheffield Ski Village, an indoor, dry slope facility. Now, he's an X Games and Olympic medal favorite in the sport of ski slopestyle.
Learning on Plastic
James Woods learned to ski on plastic snow and hit his first jumps on real snow when he was 12. "I don't feel in any way like I was deprived. I feel just the same as anyone else," Woods says. Even though our jumps were tiny, it was still enough to whiz off a ."
"He came from a group of kids his age who were all exceptionally good skiers," says Woods' coach Pat Sharples. "But I do believe even when he was a little kid, and a lot of kids were dreaming of going to the X Games and winning medals, he absolutely believed that it was going to happen. And it did. He made it happen for himself."
Bronze in Aspen
At X Games Aspen 2013, James Woods was the only skier to post two scores in the 90s. He got the bronze medal behind Nick Goepper and Henrik Harlaut.
No British man or woman has ever won an Olympic medal on snow. When slopestyle makes its Olympic debut in February in Sochi, Russia, James Woods hopes to change that.
"I don't concentrate on what it looks like, I concentrate on what it feels like," Woods says. "I think if it feels good, it'll look good."
Woods has inspired a new generation of freeskiers in England who believe they can make it to the world stage because he has. Among those is 18-year-old Katie Summerhayes, a medal contender in women's ski slopestyle.
Innovation For Miles
"He's constantly looking for ways to get his body to do things that he's never seen other people do," says Woods' performance coach Dr. Carlyle Jenkins.
See You in Aspen
Stay tuned for James Woods in Men's Ski Slopestyle at X Games Aspen 2014 coming up Jan. 23-26.