Sochi 2014: Top ten for brave Billy

Daily Echo: Billy qualifies for Winter Olympic final Billy qualifies for Winter Olympic final

Billy Morgan finished tenth after becoming the first Sotonian to reach a Winter Olympic final. 

The 24 year-old snowboarder from Shirley reached the Winter Olympics' first slopestyle final with a flawless first run in the semi-final, earning a winning score of 90.75.

He delighted the Sochi crowd on the first official day of the Games, using his repertoire of tricks to earn a place in the 12-man final before his second and final run.

But he was under pressure from the start of the final after falling on his first run.

Billy was eighth at midway and after an encouraging start to his second run, he finished with a best score of 39.75 when he  attempted a 'Double 1080'.

"It was a case of go big or go home - if I landed it maybe I'd have got on the podium so I just thought huck it!" he said, before tweeting: "So happy with today. Getting through was crazy. Wanted to do the best run I could and did my best. Hope I made the GB proud.

"Riding today was crazy. Speaking to people about the finals saying that it was the best sporting show ever. Absolutely pumped."

Friends and family of Billy celebrated his appearance in the final by watching the action on the big screen at The View, the bar at the Southampton Sports Centre.

Dad Eddie said: "We're all really proud of Billy, I didn't expect him to get so far. I've never been so nervous. His grandma, Shirley, couldn't bring herself to watch so imagine how he felt! 

"But he won't be too bothered not to get a medal, he's very laid back and will still be enjoying himself out there."

What makes Billy's achievement even more impressive is that he competed without an anterior cruciate ligament after rupturing it four months ago.

Physio Dean Cook said: "Back in September it looked like it wasn't going to happen so he's done brilliantly just to be at the Olympics, never mind make the final.

"It will take a while for what he's achieved to sink in." 

Billy did not take up snowboarding until he was 14, transferring his acro-gymnastic and skateboarding skills to snow for the first time when he was 17.

Friend Mike Hurd, who has called for Billy's Olympic appearance to be rewarded with a snowdome in the south, said: "If Billy was injury free going into the Games he would probably have done even better, but he's done us so proud. 

"Other countries have a pool of 10-15 riders to choose from, which puts Billy's result and that of his teammate Jamie Nicholls [who finished sixth] in perspective.

"It's all about fine lines at the elite level but they'll inspire the next generation."

Gold went to Sage Kotsenburg (USA) with silver and bronze to Staale Sandbech (Norway) and Mark McMorris (Canada).

 

 

  

 

 

Comments (2)

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8:51am Sat 8 Feb 14

SOULJACKER says...

Excelent news, well done to you :)
Excelent news, well done to you :) SOULJACKER

10:44am Sat 8 Feb 14

Norwegian Saint says...

Respect.... from Norway!
Respect.... from Norway! Norwegian Saint

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