Meribel 2019

Para Snowboarder Aiming For 'Any Medal' At Meribel

Owen Pick has competed at the Winter Paralympic Games, but is looking forward to taking on able-bodied opposition.

Owen Pick will be competing on the second day of the five-day competition.

An Armed Forces Para Snowboarder is hoping to enjoy the competition at the Inter Service Snow Championships in Meribel.

Owen Pick was formerly part of the Army, but has recently been doing some coaching with the Navy team.

He competed at the 2018 Winter Paralympics and has had a busy12 months of sport.

Owen said: “It’s been pretty nuts. We’ve gone from the last time we filmed there being a load of powder and having a great time.

“After that, we went to Canada where again there was loads of powder. Then we went to the Paralympics and it was just ice. It was quite a transition.”

At the Winter Paralympics, he finished ninth in the snowboard cross SB-LL2 and ninth in the banked slalom. He says still enjoyed his time there, though:

“The Paralympics was just nuts," he says.

"There was loads going on. It was constantly like 'You are doing this interview and then this interview and then you are racing’.

“It was a super cool experience to go to. The results weren’t exactly what I wanted. That season I’d been doing really well. I think it was the pressure of everything.”

	ParalympicsGB Flagbearer & Army Vet Owen Pick (PA).jpg
Owen Pick was also a flagbearer for Great Britain at the Winter Paralympics (Picture: Press Association).

Since the event, Pick has suffered quite a topsy-turvy ride to the Inter Services.

“Things actually took a turn for the worse a little bit with my mental health,” he said.

“I took a bit of time out to sort my head out. I got back in the snow in October. I love racing. It’s what I do.”

"I just love snowboarding.  I enjoy doing well and I enjoy pushing myself.”

One of the main bonuses for Pick is the partnership he has created with his coach, James Sweet.

He said: “There was a lot thing that went wrong and was going wrong. It was lot of work to make this partnership happen but it’s the best thing that has happened.

"We’ve worked hard and my riding has got a lot better already."

Pick was just 18 years of age when he stood on an IED and the blast resulted in the loss of his leg.

Eight years later, he was at the Paralympics and the ability to battle able-bodied athletes is a motivation for him.

He said: "I’m riding against all these guys that are all able-bodied and normally come out quite well. Just riding with these guys and having a good fair race is always good.

"There’s actually more pressure than a normal competition. I am expected to do well here but any medal is cool."