Half pipe skier Brendan Newby has had a nervy wait to secure a place in the Irish team for the Winter Olympics, but he is "stoked with everything" as he gets set to represent his birth country in South Korea.
Newby, nicknamed ‘Bubba’, won the USASA Nationals Overall category two years in-a-row and finished in 25th place at the 2017 FIS World Championship.
But his place in Pyeongchang was in doubt after he missed out on the top 30 position needed in the World Cup. Fate saw him get back in there.
"Every event in the past two seasons has been a qualifier and you have to get a top 30 result in the World Cup," he told RTÉ Sport.
"You have to be in the top 30 in the World Cup point list. I was right around 31st after the last event.
"I was thinking I lost my spot. Then someone ahead of me was hurt so they dropped out and I figured out I was going in.
"It was a stressful week. I barely found out I was going to get in until about five days ago. I'm so relaxed and stoked with everything now. I didn't sleep very much that week. But I'm sleeping like a baby now."
The event sees competitors are skating on 22-foot high ramp and they have to perform as many tricks as they can on the way down. But it is also a dangerous event as Bubba explained.
The halfpipe ski event is one of the craziest races at the Winter Olympics. I'm joined by Brendan Newby who will represent Team Ireland on @morningireland sport. The Irish team depart for South Korea this morning 🇮🇪❄️⛷️ pic.twitter.com/r7ILcMDHjY— Darren Frehill (@Darrenfrehill) January 30, 2018
"I've been skiing really well. I took a really hard crash in the second to last competition that I'm still kind of feeling but I'm okay," he said.
"I fell 30 feet out of the sky onto straight ice. My left hip was severely bruised. Something in there was messed up.
"I'm going to physical therapy every day for the last week or so. They have really been beating it out of me and fixing it up. I'm feeling a lot better now."
Team-mate Seamus O’Connor was the inspiration for the 21-year-old to take on the challenge of qualifying for the Games.
"I was born in Cork. My Dad was teaching here at the time in UCC," he said. "Eventually we moved back to Utah and learned to ski there.
"I saw Seamus O'Connor at the 2014 and thought I want to ski for Ireland. Here I am going to the Olympics."
The Winter Olympics will begin on Friday week. A highlights programme will be broadcast every night on RTÉ Television during the Games with Clare McNamara and Darren Frehill providing the latest updates.