Metro: Murray Buchan

Winter Olympics won’t make or break me, says British skier Murray Buchan.

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Metro’s Matthew Nash visited France for the annual BRITSFreeski & Snowboard Championships. In an exclusive interview with Murray Buchan, the Scot explained how important the event is to him and how the Winter Olympics next year in Sochi do not represent a make-or-break scenario

Murray Buchan is happy. He’s just won the British halfpipe title and is among friends at the French alpine resort of Tignes.

He’s one of a number of British skiers for whom the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, next year is rapidly coming into view.

But, as his season begins to draw to a close, Buchan remains adamant he will not allow the pressure of trying to make the team for the Games hamper his enjoyment of the sport he loves.

Speaking at the BRITS, he told METRO:

‘I’ve opened up a quota spot for Great Britain in Sochi and now it’s down to being selected.There are four of us going for what will probably be two spots and we’re all good friends, albeit very competitive.I have a bit of a cushion as long as I don’t drop out of form heading into next season but it’s really stressful and you have to stay ahead in the rankings all season to make it [Sochi]. To make it would be massive but at the same time it’s not the sole reason I skied from the start – I’ll still ski whatever happens. But I also don’t want to go to the Olympics and make up the numbers.’

The 21-year-old heads to New Zealand to keep his training ticking over during the British ‘summer’ but spends a big chunk of the year in Colorado.

He admits he does miss his family in Edinburgh when he spends such long periods away. ‘I do get a bit homesick at times,’ Buchan adds. ‘It’s nice to go back and see family and friends because it’s rare that it happens. I feel like I’m missing out on what they’re doing at times’.

To that end, Buchan has his own family among the close-knit British team, and the BRITS is the ideal coming-together for a group of athletes usually spread across the globe.

‘I absolutely love the BRITS,’ Buchan enthuses. ‘I’d do my damnedest to get here. I came from Spain this time to compete but also to see everyone. It’s my favourite event. People are winding down for the end of the season and it’s a rare chance to let our hair down. I went out when I won here and usually it’s just dinner to celebrate.But here the socialising is great and it’s even better since it moved to Tignes from Laax in Switzerland this year. The atmosphere has been great too.’

Buchan, like many of his team-mates, is a laid-back character who adores his chosen discipline. But the hype is sure to be cranked up as Sochi comes into view over the coming months, with him being a genuine hope for gold come next February.

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