Feature | Snowboard

Billy Morgan on snowboarding worries, his Olympic bronze, and how he stays calm under pressure

Five things we learnt as Team GB snowboarder and keen gardener Billy Morgan joined the Olympic Channel Podcast for an interview

By Ed Knowles ·

Snowboarder Billy Morgan surprised himself and the world when he took an Olympic bronze medal home to Great Britain in 2018.

It was the first ever Olympic Big Air event and it provided one of the most memorable competitions of the Games.

The podium place also led to several emotional outpourings from members of the GB team.

“There were a few tears shed. I've never seen that before. I was quite emotional,” said Billy to the Olympic Channel Podcast.

He finally managed to sit down and watch the event itself a year later

“You can only see a couple of people that go before you and you have no time to take it in. You are concentrating on what you do doing so much.

“It was quite a good show. I can see why people were like, ‘I'm going to go snowboarding.’”

Here are five things we learnt from his in-depth interview with the Olympic Channel Podcast.

Billy Morgan: Injury struggles before PyeongChang 2018

Injuries come with territory of being an elite level snowboarder.

Morgan had been struggling with knee ligament issues before the Olympic Winter Games in Korea in 2018.

And on the morning of the Big Air competition he had another issue.

“I had to have my ears syringed!”

Even with that morning surprise, he soldiered on to win the bronze medal.

Billy Morgan celebrates after winning a bronze medal at the inaugural Olympic Big Air competition at PyeongChang 2018

Billy Morgan: the euphoria of landing a big trick

Away from Olympic competition, Billy Morgan landed a world-first quad cork 1800.

But even with that euphoric feeling of landing something that historic, he had a nagging feeling at the back of his mind.

“For me, the worry and the stress doesn't outweigh the end because I worry about stuff so much."

Even so, there’s still a tremendous satisfaction in being a pioneer.

“That's the kind of moment that I love doing snowboarding and the sports that I do, because it's all your focus is kind of consumed by it.

“And when it comes to fruition, it is unbelievable."

"You can't you can't or don't get that feeling anywhere else." - Billy Morgan on snowboarding

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Billy Morgan: lifestyle and friends before big wins

Despite winning big when it mattered, Billy is committed to snowboarding as a lifestyle.

For him, friends and community always come first.

"I love so much hanging out my friends and going snowboarding.

"Although it's super intense and you have to do gnarly stuff where you might die, it's worth it."

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Billy Morgan: how to stay calm under pressure

The top of a Big Air jump looks absolutely terrifying to a layperson.

The riders themselves take it all in their stride.

There are still some pre-competition nerves which Morgan tries to calm by messing around and making jokes.

“If I'm left alone, I will just go mad. I need to be distracted.

“So, we just talk rubbish all the time at each other.

"The only time you really need to be thinking about [your performance] is when you drop in. You don't need to pressurise yourself."

Team GB rider Billy Morgan competes at PyeongChang 2018

Billy Morgan: the eco-friendly gardener

During the national lockdown in England due to the coronavirus, Morgan got to work on another one of his passions.

He loves gardening and tries to make the most of any materials he can lay his hands on to make the world a more sustainable place like another recent Olympic Channel Podcast guest Elena Hight.

Morgan says, "I do so much to try and be as efficient as little as possible.

"I think we do need to take the environmental issues more seriously.

"I'm not going to become that that guy that's preaching on everyone. But reduce, reuse, recycle is an age-old term that needs readapting. Don't be such a consumer."

Listen to the full interview on the Olympic Channel Podcast, also available wherever you get your podcasts.

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