Scotty James wins gold at FIS World Cup halfpipe in China

Scotty James. Photo credit: Olympic Winter Institute of Australia

Scotty James is unstoppable. The Australian halfpipe snowboarder won his second consecutive FIS World Cup gold this season at the Secret Garden in China event today.

But that’s not all, James has won every major competition he has entered including FIS World Cup events, FIS World Championships and X Games since he took bronze at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February 2018. T

It’s a remarkable feat for the 25 year old from Warrandyte near Melbourne who famously wears red boxing gloves when competing. Today’s event was held at the site of the Beijing Winter Olympics event for 2022. 

“It’s my first trip to China and Secret Garden to see the venue for the next Olympics and so started off with good energy and a win, a good way to have my first visit here” said James after securing gold. 

“My first run I wasn’t super happy, I did a little hand drag on the last hit, and I knew that I would get docked for that. I knew what I had to do on the second run and I just went back to the top refreshed and got ready to go again.”

James won the event on his second run with a score of 97.80 in challenging light conditions. His closest competitor, Japan’s Yuto Totsuka, led the field after the first run with 90.40 but failed to beat James’ high second run score.

Totsuka’s third run score of 95.80 won him the silver. Japan’s Ruka Hirano took third place with 92.60 in a podium placement replica of the first FIS World Cup event of the season at Copper Mountain’s US Grand Prix event earlier this month.

“The Japanese athletes really brought it to me today, and I knew they would, so I just came out and gave it my best shot and it seems to be paying off” said James.

“We practice in all conditions all the time, we can’t be a fair weather snowboarder in a winter sport, you’ve got to be prepared for the wind and the snow. For me I stay in a positive attitude and have a game plan and stick to it.”

The next elite halfpipe event is the FIS World Cup in Laax Switzerland on January 13 to 18 followed by the X Games in Aspen in January 23 to 26.

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.