Sochi 2014 - Armies of One

Between the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City and the current goings-on in Sochi, the number of Team GB riders in the freestyle disciplines has risen from one to six. Back then halfpipe was the only option (we now have slopestyle as well), and Lesley McKenna was the only one flying the flag for the UK. She went on to compete in two more games and inspire other British riders in the process, so it’s in no small way thanks to her that Team GB’s current contingent is so strong.

Lesley McKenna, Britain's first Olympic freestyle snowboarder
Lesley McKenna, Britain’s first Olympic freestyle snowboarder

This year, there will be six nations with only one freestyler in attendance at the games. Yes, most will be travelling with a larger delegation from across all winter sports, and there may even be some other snowboarders with them who’ll trot out for the racing events. But when it comes to freestyle, these guys are their country’s only hope.

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