Jamie Nicholls insisted he had no regrets after securing Britain’s best finish on snow at the Winter Olympics for nearly 50 years in the men’s snowboard slopestyle final.
The Queensbury ace was impressive during the qualification round on Thursday as he secured a place in the top four of his heat that saw him advance direct to Saturday’s final in Sochi.
And Nicholls appeared well placed to win Britain’s first ever Olympic medal on snow (a feat accomplished by GB team-mate Jenny Jones in yesterday's women's event) after landing a backside triple 1440 on his opening run in the final, which scored him 85.50.
Nicholls had never landed such a trick before and it put him second, which is where he stayed until early on in run two, eventually dropping to sixth place after a small error on his second run.
Still, the last time Britain finished in such a position in a snow event at the Winter Olympics was at the 1968 Games in Grenoble – and Nicholls wasn’t wondering what might have been.
“To be in that mix was incredible. The second run I dropped in and I was meant to do the same trick as my first run and I didn’t get it out,” said Nicholls.
“I got on the end of the rail and slipped off the side and I just thought ‘I am at the Olympics, just have fun’.
“Once you mess up the start there is no way you can get back. Maybe I could have been on the podium but I did my best and gave it my all. I knew that those guys at the end there are the best guys in the world and I new they were going to put down their runs.
“My first run was the best run I have ever done in my life. I landed a backside triple 1440 and that is the first time I have ever landed that trick in a contest.
“I wouldn’t have done anything different. That is all I wanted to do. I was so going for it on that first run.
“I was so happy and when I landed the backside triple I had this weird feeling in my stomach.”
Sage Kotsenburg of the United States took gold, the first of these Winter Olympics, with a score of 93.50 that was produced on his opening run with Nicholls eight points shy in sixth.
Norwegian Staale Sandbech (91.75) took silver and Canada’s Mark McMorris bronze (88.75), while Nicholls’ British team-mate Billy Morgan finished in tenth spot.
Nicholls is adamant that he won’t be settling for a place off the podium at the next Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in four years time.
“Lets hope the medals are there to be won next time,” added Nicholls.
“We have got the talent in the UK, it is crazy to think that both of us made top ten in the Olympics.
“We have put a lot of effort in and worked hard to get to where we are and I am sure we have got some young talent that could join us in Korea too.”
Nicholls has admitted part of the reason for his success this week may have been down to his attitude.
“I felt no pressure in the Olympics whatsoever, maybe that’s why I went as well as I did. It’s crazy, I’m so happy that me and Billy managed to get to the finals,” Nicholls added. “To both get (in the) top 10 in the Olympics is great for British snowboarding.”
* Samsung are a proud partner of Team GB and are supporting the Samsung Galaxy Team. To meet the team, see exclusive content and win amazing prizes, including once-in-a-lifetime winter sport training sessions with the Samsung Galaxy Team athletes, visit: www.samsung.com/uk/sochi2014