Sochi 2014: Woods confident for Olympics despite X Games blip

British slopestyle skier James Woods believes he can win a Winter Olympic medal in Sochi despite failing to make the X Games final at the weekend.

The 22-year-old, who was the overall World Cup champion last season, took to Twitter  to voice his frustration after only finishing 10th in qualifying.

"As far as I'm concerned everything was perfect," Woods told BBC Sport.

"I'm disappointed [with the result] but I feel I'm skiing at the top of my game which is good for the Olympics."

Winter X Games explained

  • The best winter action sport athletes from around the world are invited to compete on an annual basis
  • The competition has day and evening events including skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling
  • The first Winter X Games took place at Mountain Resort in Big Bear Lake, California, in 1997

The Winter X Games,  which are traditionally held in Aspen, Colorado, have traditionally been the pinnacle for many freestyle skiers and snowboarders.

But given that slopestyle will make its Olympic bow in Sochi, many athletes now have dual priorities.

Woods was targeting medals at both events.

"To win the X Games is my dream and it would be amazing to win an Olympic medal, which I believe I can do" said Woods.

"It didn't happen in Aspen for whatever reason, but that's part of the sport - you can't win all of the time and have to keep your chin up."

The Sheffield-born skier says "surprise results" can be common in slopestyle due to the subjective nature of the judging system.

"It's incredibly difficult to describe what it takes [to score high points] because the judging criteria is marked so much on creativity and innovation," he said.

What is slopestyle?

  • Skiers and snowboarders perform tricks in the air as well as on rails and boxes
  • They do not race against the clock but instead are awarded points for style and the difficulty of their run by a group of judges

"You need to be following the sport week in, week out to get the entire gist of it - I do that and still struggle sometimes to follow!"

Woods is part of a largest-ever British skiing and snowboarding line-up for an Olympics, with 19 athletes named in the squad.

Whilst he is seen as one of the strongest medal prospects, fellow skiers Katie Summerhayes and Rowan Cheshire, as well as snowboarders Jenny Jones and Billy Morgan, have all secured World Cup podiums over the past 18 months.

The Sochi Winter Olympics begin on 7 February with Woods taking to the slopes for the qualification round of the slopestyle event on 13 February.