Billy Morgan | Is Snowboarding Too Cool for Its Own Good?
“If you think back to the origins of board sports it was just being a rebel renegade..."
We’ve been tuning into as much skiing and snowboarding chat as we possibly can in the run up to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, and if you’re at all interested in Olympic snowboarding or following Team GB, this podcast between friend-of-Mpora Matt Barr and Team GB snowboarder Billy Morgan is a must listen.
In the podcast Billy talks about all things 2018 Winter Olympics - where he will be competing in slopestyle and the newly added Big Air event - as well as life beyond the Olympic Games in the snowboarding world.
There are some really interesting things in there about Pyeongchang.
Right from the get-go there’s rumours of substandard accommodation and gyms for the athletes in South Korea, and a fascinating behind-the-scenes insight into how strictly an Olympic team can be run, and the trouble you can get into if you disobey the team code or “media blackout" (which prevents athletes talking about any sponsors other than official Olympic sponsors during the Games).
“There are people about making sure people have the right kit […] and if you mess up it’s not taken lightly," Billy tells Matt.
Billy also talks about his own reputation in the snowboarding community and the tough times he received for his perception as “a gymnast on a snowboard" - something that arose after he became the first snowboarder in the world to land a triple rodeo and later a quad cork.
“It was probably because I wasn’t one of the cool kids and I did tricks that were hard and haven’t been done before," he says.
From this foundation it’s really interesting to hear Billy talk about US snowboarder Chris Corning and his no-holds-barred attitude to snowboarding and the culture around it, and to hear Billy talk further about the culture of ‘cool’ in the sport.
"I feel like they've almost ruined the coolness of it by being too cool, and being worried about being too cool" he says. “If you think back to the origins of board sports it was just being a rebel renegade and doing whatever you wanted."
Billy of course talks about his “rivals" for the Winter Olympics, what he hopes to achieve in Pyeongchang and what he wants to do after snowboarding - whether that be staying in the sport and coaching or leaving the snowboarding behind for something completely different.