Updated: Monday, 10th December 2018 @ 4:16pm

'I can feel it': Freestyle skier and Manchester student Peter Speight ‘on right track’ for Olympic debut at Sochi

'I can feel it': Freestyle skier and Manchester student Peter Speight ‘on right track’ for Olympic debut at Sochi

By Josh Nicholls

Freestyle skier and University of Manchester student Peter Speight hopes to add the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi to his list of extra-curricular activities.

Speight needs two top-20 finishes in his final three World Cup skiing events to qualify for the games in Sochi.

The first of these events is in Copper Mountain, Colorado on December 19 and Speight is confident he will do the job.

“I’ll be looking for consistent results in those three events and hopefully (I can) move my position up a little bit in each competition,” Speight said.

“I’m getting pretty close and I think I should make it (to the Olympics).”

Speight’s other qualifying d-days take place in January at events in Northstar, California and Gstaad, Switzerland.

The 20-year-old is buoyant after enjoying a successful August in Cardrona, New Zealand where he came 13th in the Freeski Open and 26th in the NZ Winter games.

“They were really good results for me, especially the 13th that was a landmark result and it definitely shows that I’m on the right track for the Olympics,” said Speight.

Slopestyle skiing is an event where competitors ski a series of jumps and are graded based on the aerial manoeuvres they perform.

Following the unanimous success of snowboard cross, which was the most-watched event at Vancouver 2010, slopestyle is set for its Winter Olympic debut in Sochi.

“Obviously being at an Olympics in itself is hugely exciting and I’d feel very privileged to be there, but with it being the first one (for slopestyle) it would make it even more special,” Speight added.

The British freestyle ski and snowboard team are a coming force in Winter Sport, with James Woods, Katie Summerhayes and Billy Morgan all genuine medal contenders for Sochi.

If he can seal qualification and become part of Team GB’s class of 2014 Speight hopes he and his team-mates can prompt a new wave of British freestylers in the future.

“We’ve all come from dry-slope or indoor snow dome backgrounds and hopefully that should inspire a lot more kids that are coming up,” said Speight.

“We’re proving that it can be done on the international stage coming from humble beginnings and the investment is only going to get better after the Olympics, so I think 2018 should be a good one.”

A second year history student living in Fallowfield, Speight admits juggling his academic work and his sporting endeavours can be difficult at times. 

But fuelled by the flames of the Olympic torch, Speight has been undergoing gruelling gym work as he attempts build the body that will power him to the Winter games.

Multiple-squats, core-strengthening and cardio are all part of a training programme, which also involves ski training in Colorado.

This regime is funded by the university’s Sport Manchester initiative which Speight is hugely grateful for.

 “It is hugely beneficial to me and it’d be something that I wouldn’t have had if I wasn’t at university so it’s worth it,” he said.

Image courtesy of Peter Speight via YouTube, with thanks.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.