Ski-Scotland’s invite to ‘no snow’ Billy Morgan
Ski-Scotland has sent an open invitation to Olympic bronze medallist Billy Morgan to head north to discover our nation’s snow.
Billy took third place in the Snowboard Big Air competition in 2018 Winter Olympic Games this month.
It was Team GB’s fifth medal at Pyeongchang – including Izzy Atkin’s bronze medal in the Ski Slopestyle – and a record for Great Britain at a Winter Olympics.
But when speaking to BBC Breakfast after his jump, Billy said Britain had done well, despite being “a nation that has no snow”.
Many Scots were taken aback by his statement, including the Chair of Ski-Scotland, Andy Meldrum.
Andy said: “I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing as, looking out of my window here at Glencoe, I could see not only loads of snow but also hundreds of people enjoying it, sliding on skis or snowboards.”
As a result, Ski-Scotland has invited Billy to ride one or more of the Scottish terrain parks at Scotland’s mountain resorts.
Andy said: “As soon as he has some time, assuming that’s before the end of our snowsports season, we would love to show him that we do indeed have fantastic snowsports here in Great Britain.
“While we appreciate our terrain parks don’t come up to international competition standards, we would really like him to come and have some fun here.
“He’ll find we put our snow to good use for recreational skiing and snowboarding, as well as training youngsters and running competitions.
“As our snowsports usually continue well into April or even May at some resorts, we hope he will be able to take us up on our invitation.”
Billy can perhaps be forgiven for his sweeping statement for he was born and brought up in Southampton, an area in England that is not known for its snow. Yet, he seemed to completely overlook Scotland in his statement.
This comes, too, in a year when Scotland’s five mountain snowsports areas have been enjoying one of their best seasons in recent history.
Conditions for skiers and snowboarders have been superb across the board and the ski centres have been busy. So far, there have been 132,000 “skier days” already recorded at the five mountain resorts, which is more than double the total for the whole of last season and is more than seven per cent up on the successful 2015-16 season.
Andy added: “We’re even closing the gap on season 2014-15 when that season finished with more than 200,000 skier days in total.
“We estimate that already this winter we have generated more than £13.2million for the economy, of which at least £10milion will have been spent ‘off the hill’ in accommodation, shops, eateries and filling stations.
“This is not too bad for a nation with ‘no snow’, is it?”
Find out more about skiing at Scotland’s five resorts: Ski-Scotland.