Morgan is chasing medals, not injuries, in Pyeongchang

Great Britain's flag bearer Lizzy Yarnold leads out her team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Great Britain's flag bearer Lizzy Yarnold leads out her team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
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Billy Morgan admits to fear becoming a factor as he seeks to take snowboarding to new limits.

The 28-year-old will begin his second Olympics campaign in Pyeongchang today, riding in qualification for the snowboard slopestyle.

Bradford’s Jamie Nicholls, also competing at his second Games, is also in the snowboard slopestyle event, along with Rowan Coultas, while Aimee Fuller is in the women’s event that Brighouse’s Katie Ormerod had to pull out of with injury.

Morgan has already blazed a trail – landing the first triple rodeo flip in 2011 and the first 1800 quadruple cork in 2015 – and the inclusion of the Big Air event for the first time at the Olympics provides an additional opportunity for the Southampton rider.

Morgan has a carefree persona, but with maturity comes the realisation of the risks involved – and experience of injuries, which are part of the job.

“There’s always more we can do as snowboarders, especially if they build the course to suit it. The sky’s the limit,” said Morgan, who finished 10th in the slopestyle at the Sochi 2014 Games

“Recently I’ve got more scared, I worry about things a lot more.

“It’s worrying about snapping bones. It’s a pain in the bum when you do that.

“The kids do seem to be fearless, like I was when I was younger. But we have experience being a bit older, so it’s swings and roundabouts.”

One of those “kids” is 18-year-old Norwegian Marcus Kleveland, who is hot favourite for both the slopestyle and Big Air events.

“Marcus is pushing the boat out quite far now. You’ll see some pretty rad stuff from him,” added Morgan, who could yet try some new tricks here.

One concern Morgan must put to the back of his mind is a knee problem that does not affect his trickery, but means there could be major repercussions if he misjudges a landing.

Morgan added: “There are certain ways I can’t crash, because if I crash like that my knee will bust and it will be game over. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.”

Morgan’s immediate priority is qualifying from today’s first round.

He added: “It’s one step at a time, taking each round as it goes. I’d like to get through to the finals and if I get through to the finals I’ll be stoked.”

There are high hopes of adding to GB’s first Olympic medal on snow, won by Jenny Jones in the snowboard slopestyle in Sochi.

“We’ve got a really good crew going for this one,” Morgan added. “We’ve got a good chance of doing well. It’s going to be exciting.”