HE'S the Winter Olympics medallist without anywhere in his own country to practise his craft, but Scotty James is hoping that can all change.

Third in Wednesday's snowboard half-pipe final, James now has some extra cache to go with an X Games title and two world championship wins.

After being presented with his medal, James said it still felt like he had won gold.

"It was really cool, I'm still getting my emotions together," he said.

"Honestly it feels like a gold to me.

"After years and years this has all come to fruition at the right time, I've been working so hard.

"It's been hard being away from home. It all came out and I put the run down I wanted."

Struggling with how much time he spends away from home, James hopes his medal will go some way in ensuring a half-pipe is built in Australia.

Currently there isn't an Olympic-sized half-pipe or 'superpipe' in any NSW or Victorian resort, the nearest southern hemisphere facility being at Cardrona, in New Zealand in the South Island.

"I'd absolutely love that," James said.

Scotty James of Australia receives the bronze medal
Scotty James of Australia receives the bronze medal

"It would make my dreams a reality to have a half-pipe in Australia - I think that would be amazing.

"That would be the only thing I am missing at the moment in my training and preparation.

"I spend 11 months away from home at the moment trying to ride a half-pipe."

James wouldn't give too much away but he has been working closely with Falls Creek in Victoria with the suggestion being it would be possible to build one high in the resort.

Relatively expensive to construct and taking a lot of regular maintenance, half-pipes have been rare in Australia with the last one seen in Perisher.

Ironically, the last full-sized superpipe in Australia was used by Shaun White. Built with the help of his sponsors just out the back of Perisher in 2013, White based there for part of October to train privately for the 2014 Winter Olympics. But it didn't do him much good - the American finishing off the podium in Russia for the one and only time in his Olympic career.

Scotty James of Australia gestures prior to receiving the bronze medal
Scotty James of Australia gestures prior to receiving the bronze medal

James won his medal with his first run of 92.

"I came out expecting a really good fight and that's exactly what it was," he said.

"You only get one time every four years to do so in front of your country and that's what I did so I am absolutely grateful for that.

"A lot of people have told me I can't and I've took it in my stride most of the time.

I came out fighting.

"The kid from Warrandyte, Australia. I gave it my best shot today and that's what I know how to do, and so I did that and gave it my best shot today. It is awesome.

"I've had a crazy couple of seasons and stood on a lot of podiums but this one's definitely sentimental.

"It caught my off guard. I was trying to fight back the tears but I couldn't do it."

Meanwhile, Olympic Winter Institute CEO Geoff Lipshut said that James could have won the competition on his second run had he not dragged his arm attempting a 1440.

Lipshut said after discussions with judges he was told James didn't need to do such a big trick and could have won gold without it on that run.



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