Silver Medal Sochi 2014

Posted: March 10, 2014 by David Morris in Olympics, podium, Sochi

Update: 9th March, 2014

My 4 year Olympic cycle is complete and I have walked away with a Silver Medal and could not be more satisfied with the result.

Silver Medal
Sochi was a wonderful adventure and as spectacular as I expected it to be.
The Vancouver Olympics were an experience for me, it was overwhelming and eye-opening for me and I was there to enjoy myself being thrilled just to be a part of it all.
Sochi, I was there to win. I had dedicated another 4 years on top of what I originally thought would be the end of my career and I was going to make sure it was worth it.
I spent my energy on myself whilst being as supportive as I could of our whole Olympic team but my focus was on my big day.

Aus Team Opening Ceremony
With a few sessions of training canceled due to warm weather I was reminded of Vancouver but was far more prepared this time around getting all of my skills done ahead of time and having the day off before the competition.
Competition training went as expected, it was horrible and normally is but after 4 bad jumps and training about to finish I had a full freak out that I just wasn’t getting it together and I couldn’t believe it had to happen today after training well all week. I was quickly reminded that for the last two years this has happened before every competition and that today was no different than any other day. After calming down I snuck in one last training jump 5 minutes before the end and it was perfect.

Jumping at night in Finals
What happened next unfolded in the only way it could have to achieve a podium for me. My first jump qualified equal first as my competition brain kicked in and everything just started going right. Already I had achieved more than my 13th place in Vancouver and that was a real weight off my shoulders. Being one of the last to jump in Final 1 meant that we were able to watch the other jumpers and decide what jump we would do at the end depending on the results. It was simple, there were 12 of us and I only had to beat 4 people, the 4th person crashed their jump just before I went, and as I was preparing to do my quad twist, my coach radioed up and told me to change the jump I was going to do. I performed a triple twisting triple flip, and we knew all I had to do was land and I would make it through. That’s what I did and at that moment I knew I had a real shot at making the podium due to being able to save my harder jumps for the last rounds.

I landed and made it through quickly having to get up there for the next jump which would be a quadruple twisting triple flip, my favourite and “easiest” one which I landed and waited to watch if I could make it into the top 4 for the super final. Three jumpers beat me and suddenly I was in the last round just as we’d planned the day before and it was unfolding flawlessly.

My coach and I had discussed that we’d need to downgrade at some point, and risk that round in order to have a real shot at getting through, it happened at the right time and the rest of it happened like I have been imagining it to for the last 4 years.

My last jump was one I have done 5 times this year, I relied on my water training to kick in and natural instinct to help me land and once again landed it cleanly and I’d done everything I could to put myself in the best position for a medal.

done and done
I was beaten by Anton Kushnir one of my favourite jumpers, this was no surprise to me and I was humbled to be beaten by an amazing quintuple twisting jump. The two Chinese let in the final outdid themselves and couldn’t land, I knew instantly what was about to be announced and could not believe that everything had just happened as we’d hoped.
I had won an Olympic Silver Medal, the first in men’s aerials for Australia, the 3rd medal of the Olympics and the 12th Winter Games medal ever for my country.
To top it off I was honoured with carrying the Aussie flag in the closing ceremony, another part of the epic adventure which was the Sochi 2014 campaign.

Winning Silver

Thank you all of you who have supported me leading into this, without the help I have received, without the encouragement and belief I would not be complete and this would not have been possible. The medal belongs to all of you as we are a team and I’m proud to have you as part of mine.

Now I will rest a few months, recover and no doubt quickly get bored and start again. In the moment it all happened I wasn’t sure I could take any more, but as the days tick over I remember how much I love doing what I do and I’m already back bouncing on trampolines.
Always more to come!

Thanks for watchingFlag bearer closing ceremony

Update: 26th January, 2014

The last two weeks have seen me through 3 competitions in very short succession and has ended the Olympic qualification period for freestyle. The World Cups in Deer Valley (US), Val St.-Come (Canada) and Lake Placid (US) were a real test of energy and mental toughness but I still managed to keep my streak of making finals going completing the season with a finals finish every week.

3rd place Val St.-ComeVal St.-Come turned out to be my most successful competition of the year where despite being overly tired and underprepared for competition day I finished 3rd claiming my first

podium for the year. It was really good practice for me jumping whilst tired and still being able to put down landings when it counted and just keeping it consistent enough to make it all the way through.

Deer Valley ran the full Olympic competition format but unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it the whole way through the competition due to some mess ups with scoring and organisation problems not working in my favour but a solid 9th place was still appreciated. Lake Placid had me placed in 8th to finish the season ranked #6 overall and #3 on the Olympic rankings going into the Games that are approaching very quickly. Luckily for me I qualified last year for the Games so it wasn’t a stressful season for me unlike many others.

At this time 4 years ago I had just scraped through and barely qualified at the last minute in the final competition and was praying I’d be selected for the team, I’ve come a long way since then.

Deer Valley world cup 2014

I’m now back in Finland where we started the training for the season, now for the final Olympic training camp before the opening ceremony on the 7th of February.
It is a very exciting time for me and thank you for your support and encouragement along the way. I’m privileged to be able to compete in my second Olympics and I am confident in my ability to perform well when it counts. Obviously anything can happen on the day but I can promise I will be doing everything I can in the moment to be as successful as I can.

Lake Placid jumping Unfortunately there will be a media blackout period throughout the games and we are not allowed to contribute to social media or recognise sponsors during this time.

Please know that I never forget that I could not have made it this far without the support I have received from everyone I’ve come across.

Successes are for everyone to share as I can only perform because I’ve had help getting here

I hope to bring home some metallic bling!

The best is yet to come

Posted: December 29, 2013 by davomorris in Beijing, Europa Cup, Ruka, World Cup

It’s the end of another year and the start of a new season and the most important season leading into the Olympics.

green pants

2nd place Europa Cup 2013

The team trained in Ruka, Finland as we always do and I found I was having a rough time getting things going this year really struggling to put it all together and just do nice jumps like I was consistently doing last season. In typical form I pulled it together for the Europa Cup competitions and placed 2nd and 4th also managing to compete a skill that I have only ever performed once on snow.

The first World Cups were in China in two separate locations, Beida Lake and then for the finale – inside the Birds Nest stadium in Beijing.

Beida Lake was a rough training week for me, I wasn’t landing or jumping well and then finally on my first competition jump my brain and body decided to work together and I landed the 2 jumps that counted and placed 5th which I was very happy about but realised I have a lot more work to do this year and can’t ride the success of last year without any effort.

Jumping in the Birds Nest was incredible and overwhelming at first to see such a huge structure with snow in a place that I can only associate with summer sports.

Birds Nest Beijing

I trained well and worked up to my most difficult skills within 2 days and competed them successfully getting myself into the finals (top 12) but unfortunately crashed in finals and finished 11th which again I’m happy with as a finals spot is always good but I expect more of myself than that. My Mum, Dad and brother turned up to watch and I was hoping for something a bit more spectacular but found myself lying on snow at the bottom a bit surprised I hadn’t landed, but there’s always next week.

Jumping Birds Nest. photo|Peter Morris

I head to Park City tomorrow for a much needed week of just training before a very busy three World Cups in 12 days all in different locations over the US and Canada.

That will be end of Olympic qualifications and officially confirm my place on the Sochi 2014 team.

The best is yet to come…

Aerial Skiing training lap – Finland (feat. Aus/Swiss/GB)

Aussies Skiing in Ruka, Finland

Bread and butter

Posted: October 15, 2013 by davomorris in training

I decided an overall view of the last few months of my summer training was more appropriate as there are greater changes and successes over a longer period of time.

My water ramping training was extremely successful this year leading into Sochi, I worked on a few new skills as well as neatening up the ones I already have. Last year on snow I consistently landed and performed well, but I believe the improvements I’ve made this year will stand out to the judges and have me capable of winning on any given day.
I’m now very comfortable with my “bread and butter” skills, both quadruple twisting triple flips that I competed last year and I practiced another quad twisting skill as well as some quintuple twisting ones that could make an appearance if need be. I even attempted 6 twists just to see if I had it in me.

The water ramping competitions in Switzerland and Canada that I competed in were great practice and gave me some insight into how the other teams were going and what I might be up against this winter. The comps didn’t go the way I planned but in being beaten I was reminded that there is always room for improvement and not to take success for granted. I learn a lot from my mistakes and took these back to Utah and continued improving some important small things right up until the end of the last camp.

double POV

With my body in better condition than this time in previous years, I have returned back home to Australia and for the next month I’ll be in the gym getting stronger and fitter to be in peak physical form before my skis touch the snow. I’m looking forward to being geared up in all my sponsors gear and continuing from a successful end to the season last year.

Leading into the winter I’ve been asked what my expectations are, but it would be impossible for me to predict or determine anything in this sport. But what I can promise is I will be doing everything I can to be the best I can be and that in the moment, I will do what it takes to succeed. Videos from the summer, both training and competing can be found on my Facebook page – worth a watch.

spinning it up with 4 and 5 twists

Switzerland and Quebec competitions, training and activities

some fun ways to get strong!

Less than 200 days until Sochi

Posted: July 21, 2013 by davomorris in Bounce Inc, Park City, Sponsors, Telstra, training

The Australian Team finds themselves back in Park City, Utah in the States for another 4-5 months of summer training in the pool.

I’ve just come to the end of my second camp here and will be commencing the third block tomorrow. We train for 3 weeks at a time and then have 5 days off throughout the whole time we’re over here.

IMAG0300

As always I started with the “basics” and continue to work my way up to the harder skills each week. The first camp consisted of single flips adding up to two twists, just trying to perfect them and work on my bad habits and I’ve now moved up to double flips with up to three twists. I don’t tend to do triple flips until later in the summer, because of the impact it has on my body and this year in particular I’m focusing on improving the little things which are more easily fixed on easier skills.

It has been very successful so far and I’m excited to see where we shall get by the end of the summer and to break up the location a little bit I will be traveling to Switzerland again this year for their water ramping competition and then to Canada for their competition. I love jumping with other athletes and putting a little pressure on myself when it’s not on snow, it will be good to see where other boys are at regarding their skills and also be a fun and safe way to compete aggressively which I love doing.

I recently became an ambassador for “Australia’s Greatest Athlete” which will be televised soon although unfortunately I will not be around to compete in it this year. I would also like to welcome Telstra on board as my newest sponsor and provider after presenting me with the newest of smart phones to help me stay connect, and Bounce Inc. – a huge indoor trampoline arena who have allowed me to train there and get ready for snow whenever I need to.

With just over two month remaining of training, and less than 200 days before the Olympics, I have a lot of work ahead but I am excited and very confident as to the direction I’m heading.

Training VIS

During the off season it’s rest and then straight back into the gym to get strong for the coming northern hemisphere summer. Knees, backs and energy levels deteriorate slowly over the winter season and now that I am home it’s time to build them back up to peak form especially this being potentially the most important year of my sporting career.

I have got back into running as well as going in to the VIS for weights training sessions 3 times a week and along with some tumbling and trampoline training I plan to be in top physical form before heading to Park City USA in June.

Volkl Dalbello Marker

I am very pleased to announce Völkl 
Skis, Marker Bindings, Dalbello Ski Boots, Red Bull and Glenvale Dental as my new individual providers assisting me in my efforts towards Sochi 2014. I’m always very appreciative of any help I get due to how challenging it is finding sponsors for my winter sport.
Mouthguards

At this year’s Ski and Snowboard Australia awards I was a nominated finalist for athlete of the year and contributed towards our aerial skiing team winning the outstanding achievement award. The night brought all of the freestyle disciplines together to celebrate our most successful season so far. I receiving a very large (literally) cheque from XTM for my seasons efforts, and recently, a very much anticipated Olympic Shadow Team letter informing me of my
selection for Sochi and met the other predicted 50+ athletes that are being hailed as our best winter team ever.

SSA awards

Be sure to check out the new videos and pictures I put up leading into this Olympic season. I have learned a lot over the last 4 year and especially this last season to help me grow as an athlete and really be up there with the best as a potential Gold medalist in Russia. That is my goal and you can be sure I will be training at the top standard in order to be the best.

Record breaking season

Posted: March 11, 2013 by davomorris in Voss, World Championships

competition results and schedule
~ Winter 2012/13 Competition Results

The last event of the season proved I’ve earned my place amongst the top competitors in the World. I had qualified for my first World Championship finals in Voss, Norway. Voss World Championships Using the full Olympic format for the first time in the season proved to be a much more strategic game with two qualifying rounds to get into the top twelve. My coaches had a mild heart attack after I crashed my first jump bringing my chances down to the wire. I had to make the last jump count against an impressive field of athletes. My consistency from the season continued as I qualified into the top twelve then top eight along with the rest of the Aussie team. I was left with two jumps to choose from to attempt to qualify for the top four super final. As a practice for the Sochi Olympics I chose my hardest jump. I had not trained it that week but my consistency continued and I landed it well. I had put myself into a good position to make the final round. Unfortunately the other competitors were jumping at an incredible standard. They put down some impressive results to bump me down to fifth where my competition and season would end. A first and third place at World Cup events, second overall for the season and a top five result at World Championships leaves my coaches and I extremely happy at the end of the season. We etched new records in the history books and pioneered the way forward for Men’s aerials in Australia. I enter the off season now to recover and strengthen up for next season leading into what I plan to be a big end to this four year build up for the Sochi Olympics in 2014. 

If you, or someone or a company you know, is interested in assisting me compete over the next season and at the 2014 Sochi Olympics please email me via my Facebook athlete page www.facebook.com/AusAerialSkier

Voss jumpsite

Bukovel Gold + World # 2

Posted: February 26, 2013 by davomorris in Bukovel, World Cup

Long story short – I won my first World Cup and in doing so bumped myself up to 2nd overall in the World to finish of the season.

bukovel

Bukovel – Ukraine, was never on the cards for our team as it was planned that we’d train for World Championships in Ruka

Finland leading up to the event. Yet after some discussion with my coach we decided that after Sochi, if I had a chance at holding a top 5 position I would go to the Ukraine. It was an amazing jump site and beautiful place to be much to everyone’s surprise, I went only with my top coach Eli, and would be coached by the Swiss coach Mich Roth for the week.

Despite my skis not arriving until a day later I stuck to the same schedule as I would any other week, two days training and keeping the jumps to a minimum to conserve my energy. It played out normally being a bit average on the first day as I get used to the site, figuring it out on day two, and on comp day zoning in on everything and getting it done. I woke up that morning, and convinced myself I was going to win. The qualification round was by far the most nervous I’d ever been in a competition.
I’d put so much pressure on myself to do well because I knew that a win could put me into 2nd overall, but I had to beat a few certain people, who annoyingly for me all made the finals. My first jump was good but tentative, enough to make it through safely. I did another quad twisting triple flip to get into the top 4 and it needed to be something special and it was.

Went up high and came down softly putting me into 1st coming into the final round. I competed my hardest skill on the last jump, one I haven’t practiced for a few weeks, landed it and couldn’t believe my ears when I heard I’d won. Everything had fallen into place, at the last moment and it was truly a dream finish to the season. Maybe it was a long time coming and not a surprise to a few people, but I think the majority never saw this coming, but I knew I had it in me, and there’s still more to come. Thank you everyone for following me. Bring on World Championships!

No such thing as luck

Posted: February 20, 2013 by davomorris in Deer Valley, Park City, Sochi, World Cup

The last three weeks or so have had a good share of ups and downs, most ups which is always nice but also a reminder that I have plenty to work on.

Coming down from a huge high in Lake Placid after a podium had me buzzing for the Deer Valley World Cup, which is by far my favourite event to compete in for the whole year
with lots of friends there, large crowds and a great atmosphere. Training was pretty ordinary for me, I was struggling to land and felt a little more pressure than normal performing in front of people that I know. I lost my training momentum for a day and was having stomach issues which didn’t help either. I needed a little pep-talk from my coach who reminded me it wasn’t “luck” that I’d done so well and landed every qualifying jump this year. And with that I went into the competition ready to take everyone out and win it. Not be to unfortunately, despite landing a very big jump, the judges didn’t like it and I wasn’t the only one who was surprised when I didn’t make the finals. But it was a good reminder to me that I still have much to work on and not to get too carried away with good results because the judging is out of my control.
A week off relaxing in Park City and then a long flight to Sochi for the Olympic test event. There’s a lot of work to be done in Sochi to be ready for the games but the progress is showing and it will be amazing I believe.

The site was great, the weather was not, constantly changing every day, sunny and hot, a bit colder and raining, snow and then more rain. Everyone possible was done to maintain it and despite a severe lack of training and average jumping on my behalf, on the night the site was ready, and again I managed to pull off one of my best jumps in qualifications to put me through in 2nd position.
My finals jump was less successful despite being excellent in the air, the soft snow on landing had me tumbling down the hill when I thought I’d landed it with no issues. I finished in 8th, a good result none the less, but I was disappointed not to be able to go further given my parents had come to watch.
With one World Cup to go in the Ukraine, I’m currently ranked 4th in the world and plan on nudging it a little higher.

Sochi training and competition.

Amazing weekend

Posted: January 21, 2013 by davomorris in Lake Placid

The double event in Lake Placid this week turned out to be the most successful few days of my career to date. Training was pretty rough for me and not overly amazing, not really boosting my confidence for the competitions but on day one I was pumped up and ready to go. Training was very short and I didn’t get to practice all the jumps I wanted to before competing. As a result I was a little shaky in the qualification round and my quadruple twisting triple flip wasn’t very good. I scored enough for 12th which is the last position into finals and had to wait for another 15 jumpers to go and hope I held my spot.  I brought all my things down from the hill convinced my day was over but somehow stayed in 12th, and was gifted with another chance to make the most of the day. I most certainly took that chance on the next jump, launching a huge one landing nearly perfectly and putting myself into 3rd and into my second super-final (top 4). With three Chinese competitors in the super-final I would have to do something special to avoid another 4th position and after a quick chat with my coach, we decided I would compete a different quadruple twisting triple flip, without practice and just do it as my final jump and see how we went. It was big and landed and I got myself on the World Cup podium for the first time and enjoyed every second of celebration like I’d won the gold. Redeeming myself from last into the finals, with two very high scoring jumps to upset a Chinese sweep of the podium.

After using all of my energy up the next day was competition number two, and I was definitely a lot quieter and reserved. Training was alright, and given how uncomfortable it was to ‘hope’ that I wouldn’t get knocked out of the top 12 the day before I was going to make sure I did something impressive for the first round. Skiing into the jump at 70kmph, much faster than we had anticipated I did probably the biggest jump of the whole competition stretching the entire 4 twists to the ground and somehow landed on my feet much to everyone’s surprise, and secured a 3rd place into the finals. I repeated this jump in the next round and despite some very impressive jumps from most of the competitors scored well enough to put myself into 2nd into my third consecutive super-final. The weather changed dramatically between the rounds and despite stepping up to come in faster due to heavy winds, it was not fast enough, I snuck my feet in to land my final jump but it wasn’t enough for another podium and I finished in 4th.  I was as pleased as I was disappointed but an amazing weekend and am now ranked #3 in the World.