Cam Bolton is one of the elite Australian Snowboard Cross athletes heading to PyeongChang to compete in the Winter Olympics that commences next week in South Korea. Bolton, along with Jarryd Hughes, Alex Pullin and Adam Lambert will take on the world’s best racing for gold. This will be Bolton’s second Olympics having competed in Sochi in 2014, where he finished in 11th position.
A natural born athlete Bolton claims he snowboards to support his surfing habit and at one stage had to make the decision to be a professional skier or snowboarder. He is also an accomplished Surf Lifesaver and could well have been a professional Ironman. But snowboarding he chose and Boardercross is his discipline.
He also manages to be one of the funnier people I have interviewed. His insights into pranks and chicken nuggets are impressive – did you know Maccas is free in the athlete’s village? It’s almost worth getting sporty for!!
THE CAM BOLTON INTERVIEW:
A lot of people underestimate how hard the training for the winter Olympics is, can you tell us about your training program? How has your training changed since Sochi?
My Training usually consists of 10-12 sessions each week. I train twice most days and these sessions can be focused on strength, power, aerobic activity and anything in between. It can be hard work but I enjoy this side of snowboarding too. If it’s going to make me faster and better at snowboarding, then it’s a simple decision and I find it easy to stay motivated.
Since Sochi I’ve had a few injuries. I had a bad run and needed surgery on my wrist, followed by breaking my shoulder, and then the next season I broke my back. My training has had to be changed to get around a few of these injuries, but I’m finally fit, healthy, and feeling better than ever. So to say I’m excited for these Olympics is a massive understatement.
Where in the world are you training at the moment?
Almost all of our World Cup Tour is in Europe this year. We have a great training base over here at Leysin, Switzerland. It’s the home of one of our coaches, Harald Benselin, which our team has really benefited from. It’s an amazing area with great facilities both on and off snow. We’re very lucky to be able to make the most of the region. I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise to Harald for using his house as a storage facility!
Further to that…..what’s your favourite mountain of all time and why?
My favourite mountain (outside of Mt Buller of course) would have to be in Central BC, Canada. It’s called Powder King and it only has one lift and one t-bar, but accesses a lot of terrain. It’s incredibly remote but has ridiculous amounts of snow. It’s usually only open 3-4 days a week because there’s hardly anyone out there. We were lucky enough to train there with the Canadian team. They opened it up all week for us and we had the whole place to ourselves in bottomless powder. I’ll never forget it.
How do you get psyched and stay pumped before a race/event?
It’s often more about trying to settle down for me! When you’re about to pull out of the start gate into a big and fun course with 5 people beside you, there’s no shortage of adrenalin. I use breathing to calm my nerves and self talk to get myself into the ideal state to compete in. Music can be a useful tool as well, but I use it more during the morning of competition than on the hill.
If it never snowed again what would you be doing?
Camping and surfing somewhere remote. Nothing else comes close!
Who are your current off or on-snow inspirations? Why?
Tom Rockliff who plays AFL. He’s an absolute weapon and is as tough as a cat’s head. His ability to play through injuries and give his best is nothing sort of superhuman.
Kelly Slater is the king. Mentally, physically, and everything in between, I firmly believe he’s the greatest athlete of all time. In a sport that has evolved so quickly, he’s been able to stay at the top and continue to re-invent himself.
Joe Rogan and Elon Musk. The world needs more highly intelligent and open minded people – and these are two of the best in my opinion.
Who are the competitors to watch out for in 2018?
Pierre Vaultier from France is on an absolute tear right now, and is also the defending Olympic gold medalist. Alex Chumpy Pullin is also in amazing form and will be one of the quickest in South Korea this year.
Who is the funniest and the most insane on the Australian snowboard/ski team?
There’s quite a few characters on the Australian team, but the big fella Anton Grimus would have to go close. I train with him throughout the off season at the VIS, and he never stops bickering.
What do you do for fun off the slopes, at home and while travelling?
Whenever I’m home, I’m constantly trying to sneak away and surf. It’s something that really clears my head. Nothing feels like it resets me as well as finding good waves in a quiet location. Even though I love snowboarding and training so much, I find it so important to have hobbyies that completely take my mind off them.
While travelling we’ll always try to get outside and just explore. We rarely go to see tourist attractions, but instead we’ll start walking and see what we can find by chance.
What’s your worst “oh shit” moment?
A couple of years ago at the first World Cup of the season, I was leading the big final from top to bottom and crashed coming off the last jump. I quickly got up to watch everyone else in the final pass me within the last 15 metres. I had to settle for 4th position. Still haven’t lived that one down.
Any competitive sabotage/jokes/pranks going on during events?
Our team is on fire at the moment in the pranking department. One of our favourites is the door job. It involves a bucket of water on top of a door which is slightly open. You place something on the ground near the door to distract the victim and when they go through the door they get saturated – it’s priceless. Other pranks have involved super gluing coins to people’s thongs so you can hear them tapping down the hallway from a mile away, and cable tying people to chairs in restaurants through their belt loops.
Favourite movie of all time? And Snowboard movie?
Favourite movies are Happy Gilmore and Ace Ventura 2. Basically our entire snowboard team can go word for word from the beginning to end in both.
Favourite snowboard movie is Afterbang. Robot Food made some great films and I watched this on repeat from the age of 13-16.
Favourite junk food cheat meal?
Chicken Nuggets from McDonalds, and there is free McDonald’s at the Olympics. I’m going to try to eat 100 in a sitting.
With our interviews, we would like to do a little “hot or not” section. What are 4 or 5 things that you’re really stoked on at the moment? It could be in snowboarding or just life in general. Then on the flip side, 4 or 5 things that are not so cool, or that annoy you.
- Cambered snowboards
- Fish shaped snowboards
- The Joe Rogan podcast
- 160cm+ snowboards
- Donald Trump
- Donald Trump
- Donald Trump
- Donald Trump
In closing what advice would you give to little baby boarders and mini shredders who want to be like you in the future?
Have fun snowboarding and learn as many different skills as you can, as fast as you can. Always be creative and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something on a snowboard.
Full Name: Cam Bolton
Discipline: Snowboard Cross aka Boardercross
DOB: November 21, 1990
Hometown: Sorrento, VIC, Australia
Sponsors: Urge, Bolle, Ride, Optimus Health, Meister Athlete
Stalk Cam: Website/ Insta/ FB
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