Jamie Nicholls insisted he had no regrets after securing Britain’s best finish on snow at the Winter Olympics for nearly 50 years for just 24 hours in Sochi in the inaugural men’s snowboard slopestyle final.
The 20 year old was impressive during the qualification round on Thursday as he secured a place in the top four of his heat that saw him advance direct to Saturday’s final in Sochi.
And Nicholls appeared well placed to officially win Britain’s first ever Olympic medal on snow after landing a backside triple 1440 on his opening run in the final which scored him 85.50.
Nicholls, who lives in Queensbury, had never landed such a trick before and it put him second and where he stayed until early on in run two, eventually dropping to sixth place after an error next time out.
Still, the last time Britain had finished in such a position in a snow event at the Winter Olympics was at the 1968 Games in Grenoble – although Jenny Jones’ bronze in the women’s final a day later eclipsed Nicholls’ efforts.
She became the first British woman to win a medal on snow ever – but Nicholls wasn’t wondering what might have been.
“To be in that mix was incredible. The second run I dropped in and I was meant to do the same trick as my first run and I didn’t get it out,” said Nicholls.
“I got on the end of the rail and slipped off the side and I just thought ‘I am at the Olympics just have fun’.
“Once you mess up the start there is no way you can get back. Maybe I could have been on the podium but I did my best and gave it my all.
“I knew that those guys at the end there are the best guys in the world and I new they were going to put down their runs.
“My first run was the best run I have ever done in my life. I landed a backside triple 1440 and that is the first time I have ever landed that trick in a contest.
“I wouldn’t have done anything different. That is all I wanted to do. I was so going for it on that first run.
“I was so happy and when I landed the backside triple I had this weird feeling in my stomach.”
American Sage Kotsenburg took gold, the first of these Winter Olympics and the first ever in slopestyle, with a score of 93.50 that was produced on his opening run with Nicholls eight points shy in sixth.
However Nicholls is adamant that he won’t be settling for a place off the podium at the next Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in four years time.
“Lets hope the medals are there to be won next time,” added Nicholls, joined in the final by fellow Brit Billy Morgan who finished tenth.
“We have got the talent in the UK, it is crazy to think that both of us made top ten in the Olympics.
“We have put a lot of effort in and worked hard to get to where we are and I am sure we have got some young talent that could join us in Korea too.”
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