Jarryd Hughes was nearly unable to compete this past season due to complications from knee surgery. Now he is an X Games gold medallist — let that sink in for a minute.
Jarryd was only 20 years old when he conquered the world at X Games Aspen 2016, narrowly edging out compatriot and two-time world champion, Alex "Chumpy" Pullin.
Bringing home gold for Australia is an achievement Jarryd considers a huge honour. He says experiencing this moment with his dad was one of the most memorable of his life.
Jarryd readily admits he wouldn't be where he is today if it wasn't for the unwavering support of his loving parents. Jarryd also feels fortunate to have the support and mentorship of seasoned industry veterans such as Torah Bright, Ben Bright, Seth Wescott, Pierre Vaultier, Nick Baumgartner, Peter Baff, Pete Long, and trainer Tom Carter. Having recently been nicknamed "Captain Kangaroo" by the legendary Shaun Palmer, Jarryd simply said, "you have to embrace it."
Immediately after the whirlwind of X Games, Jarryd travelled to Breckenridge, Colorado. This was his well-deserved opportunity to unwind, ride with his friends at TSC, and film in the park — an aspect of snowboarding he has always enjoyed and been encouraged to pursue. As you will discover in the video, Jarryd is not just a racer, but a well-rounded and incredibly talented snowboarder regardless of course type or terrain.
Looking ahead, Jarryd has his sights firmly set on next season where he aims to defend his X Games title, win the World Championships, and begin his quest to qualify for the 2018 Olympics in Korea. Olympic qualifications commence in December 2017 and continue until January 2018. The qualification process alone is a journey paved with challenges; Australia's pool of talented racers is aplenty — but this is a challenge Jarryd is ready to embrace. Jarryd has the support of a nation as he pursues his ultimate dream of winning Olympic gold for Australia. Whatever happens, one thing is certain: Jarryd will be doing Australia proud for many years to come.
We wish him every success as he chases more podiums...
Video: Elevated Perspective
Words: Jeremy Saunders
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