© Sam MellishPictured (credit British Ski & Snowboard): Billy Morgan practices in Snow Factor’s freestyle park

Billy Morgan of the British Park & Pipe team slid into Snow Factor Braehead late last week for some final on snow training at home ahead of their hectic World Cup season and the hope of competing at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games (9-25 Feb) in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Among the stars in action on Thursday and Friday was top World Cup slopestyle rider Billy Morgan from Southampton. A bronze medallist in the Big Air discipline at the 2016 X-Games (Oslo), Morgan and fellow team members focused on refining their technique in the freestyle park at Scotland’s only indoor real snow facility.

A former acrobatic gymnast, Morgan (28) finished 2nd in the 2013 World Cup rankings and 10th in slopestyle at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. In 2015, he also became the world’s first rider to successfully complete four huge aerial twisting spins known as ‘a 1800 quadruple cork.’

Earlier last week, Snow Factor Braehead also hosted British Parasnowsport Team member Millie Knight (Canterbury) and her 24 year-old Scottish guide, Brett Wild (Glasgow). Wild is also a submariner in the Royal Navy!

Over three days, the pair used the fresh snow conditions as part of their intensive pre-season training and in the hope of being selected to compete at the 2018 Paralympic Games. Knight (18), who has impaired sight, started racing just five years ago. In February, she won downhill gold (and two silvers) at the Para-Alpine World Championships in Italy. She finished 5th in both slalom and giant-slalom at the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi.

At Snow Factor, the intensive training sessions and in advance of competing this month in Chile, were designed to focus on individual drills including agility, balance, co-ordination and rotation.

Penny Dunn, Business Development Manager for Ice Factor Group, commented: “Snow Factor Braehead is proud to have once again hosted some of the biggest names in British snow-sport, offering the athletes and their coaches invaluable pre-season practice time in real snow conditions.

“It’s fantastic that the athletes enjoy using our facility. Their presence also really inspires many of Snow Factor Racing’s younger talented skiers and snowboarders who realise that with hard work and dedication it’s possible to achieve dreams of competing at World Cup or even Olympic / Paralympic level. We wish all of the athletes all the very best for the season ahead.”