World champion snowboarder Scotty James was described only last year as “probably the most popular Australian in America”, but the Aussie could well take the next step and be the most popular man in the world in coming weeks at the Winter Games 2018. He talks with TDL about all things travel.

Our champ ready for action in Korea

Australian double World Snowboard Halfpipe champion and current FIS Crystal Globe winner Scotty James is ready to rumble in PyeongChang, Korea, next week for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games (February 9-25).

Scotty was described in the press last year as “probably the most popular Australian sports star in America” and he’s in white-hot form leading into the Winter Games after he scored silver two weeks ago at the Halfpipe World Cup finals in Snowmass, Colorado, following what commentators said was the “most impressive event in the history of snowboarding”.

After sitting at the bottom of the leader board with American gold medallist Shaun White, the 2017 World Champion nailed an exceptional final run which would see him receive a best score of 96.25, pipped only by an exceptionally rare perfect score by White.

“It was a long day, a lot of nerves,” the 23-year-old said at Ski & Snowboard Australia’s news page, after donning his now trademark red boxing gloves for the final run. “My red gloves are just a bit of a tradition of mine, just my boxing gloves – boxing kangaroo. I wear them all the time, every finals I have them on – that’s it, it’s my mojo.”

Scotty spent some time with The Departure Lounge for a Q&A about all things travel.

What’s your favourite travel destination?

I’ve been pretty fortunate to go to a lot of places but I really do enjoy Switzerland. Obviously the snow there is amazing and it’s always a good place to go skiing and snowboarding. I really like the culture there, it’s a pretty cool, clean country and the train rides are awesome.

Most embarrassing moment during your travels?

When I was 13 I got on a train in Salzburg, Germany, and I was foreign so I didn’t really know what was going on. I thought I was going somewhere but I soon found out there was no destination. I ended back in the train yard in Salzburg and I was pressing the emergency button, calling the phone and the guy came walking past my carriage with a funny look on his face as if to say, ‘What are you doing?’ and I was like, ‘Sorry… I can’t… English…”

When on the road what sort of food do you enjoy?

I really enjoy a good schnitzel, so that’s probably why I really enjoy going to Switzerland so much. They always have a good schnitzel there. That’s always my goal when I’m there – I have to get a good schnitzel in. Definitely one of my favourite food choices when travelling.

Wildest travel experience?

I went out camping and the goal was to take some photos on Mount Kosciuszko while going snowboarding at this place called Blue Lake. I rocked up and didn’t really have the right equipment and I soon found out we were camping out. The weather was just terrible. We got out there and we were trying to set up our tents and they were blowing away.

What’s your favourite form of travel?

I guess it really helps that I like planes. Flying’s cool, I think that’s my favourite. But then again when I get the chance to get on a train and travel I always really enjoy that – you get to see some pretty cool scenery. Providing you’re actually on a train going to a destination and not on a non-stop journey back to a train yard! (laughing).

Bucket list travel experience?

I’ve always wanted to go to Monaco. I’d really like to go there when the F1’s on. It’s only just been a little floating cloud in the back of my head. I think I’ll try to make that happen one day.

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The Departure Lounge team of contributors is made up of seasoned travel journalists and travel experts from the Connections Group of Companies #everyconnectioncounts

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