Winter Sport: Woods targets gold at X Games before Olympics

Sheffield's James Woods: Adam Davy/PA Wire.
Sheffield's James Woods: Adam Davy/PA Wire.
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Sheffield skier James Woods has targeted gold at this weekend’s X Games in Aspen, America.

Woods, aged 21, who was officially named in the Team GB squad for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, in February, will take part in the slopestyle discipline at the X Games.

Last year Woods finished with a bronze behind America’s Nick Goepper and Sweden’s Henrik Harlaut.

But according to his coach Pat Sharples, Woods will be hoping to go into the Olympics on the back of a gold medal.

He said: “This is obviously a big one, it’s a last big event before Sochi. He’d absolutely love to get a gold.

“I’ve heard rumours that other nations might treat the X Games as a sort-of training competition but I’m not sure if they will - everybody wants to win that X Games gold medal.”

The action for Woods, who learned how to ski at Sheffield’s now derelict Ski Village, begins tomorrow with the elimination round. He’s expected to qualify for the final round, which is on Sunday.

He said he’s excited to be named in the British squad for Sochi: “I am always incredibly proud to represent the United Kingdom in everything I do.

“I will certainly put all my efforts into my performance, representing my country and representing the freeskiing culture.”

Sheffield freestyle skiers Katie Summerhayes and James Machon have also been officially named in the squad as has skeleton pair Kristan Bromley and Shelley Rudman. It will be Bromley’s fourth Olympics and Rudman’s third.