James Woods' rise to Success
James Slater, a keen skier and member of The Sheffield Sharks Ski Club, has been thoroughly inspired by the feats of former Tapton student James Woods. Here he traces the skier’s rise to success from Sheffield to the Silver at the World Championships.
James “Woodsy” Woods has been skiing since he was 10 and since leaving Tapton School, he has gone on to become five times British Freestyle Champion and come 3rd and 4th at the Winter X Games over the past two years. Last year, James finished in the top ten in Slopestyle at the FIS World Ski Championships and 2nd place at the World Skiing Invitational AFP World Championships. He earned his first major medal when he was only 19.
James learnt to ski at the Sheffield Ski Village with the Sheffield Sharks as well as other indoor snow slopes where he took up freestyle. Now he competes around the world in an event called slopestyle. Competitors are scored on amplitude, execution, difficulty of line, landing and use of the course. The course contains rails, jumps and other objects where they show off their skill.
At the Sheffield Ski Village many young people have been introduced to the sport of skiing through The Sharks Ski Club. Some Sharks Ski Club members went on to compete in Slalom Races at many of the English indoor slopes and on the artificial dry slope centres. Other Sharks members went on to compete in Freestyle Skiing. James started his Freestyle skiing at The Sharks Ski Club as a novice but he soon advanced to being a Champion both in England and abroad.
He is only 21 but James “woodsy” Woods is now a big name on the international circuit. After winning gold twice this season, he is one of the favourites to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics. He is now sponsored by Quiksilver, Monster Energy and Salomon. Big news for Woodsy this year includes a bronze medal at the X games in Aspen and silver in Norway. Norway was especially impressive as no British athlete had won a freestyle medal in a world championship for 20 years. James is still skiing strong and always says “I won’t stop skiing until I’m the best skier I can be!” so watch out for him in the future!
By James Slater