Snowboard cross rider Kyle Wise suffered Olympic despair when he was excluded from Team GB’s selection for the Games in Sochi.
He has, however, managed to impose himself through an alternative capacity by providing direct information and statistics to the BBC’s commentators during last weekend’s live broadcast of the snowboard ladies’ cross event, as well as the men’s competition just two days ago – a race he himself had set his mind on competing in right up until the turn of the year.
But disaster struck just days later when the 24-year-old Heriot-Watt graduate suffered a perforated appendix at his French training base and had to undergo immediate surgery – thus ending any hopes of appearing for his country on the Russian slopes.
Speaking from Morzine in the French Alps where he has already been back on his board after a six-week recovery period, Wise said: “I’m just trying to get healthy at the moment. I started snowboarding again last week, so I’ve had quite a few weeks off, but I have been focusing on a bit of fitness work as well.
“I came back out to France from Edinburgh just after Christmas to get really fit and ready for all the competitions. But then I woke up a couple of days after New Year and had really bad stomach ache – I thought it was just something I had eaten. But then the pain moved across to my right side so I had to see a doctor, who told me to go to hospital straight away where I was diagnosed with perforated appendicitis – I had surgery straight away.
“I was pushing for it (the Olympics) and then it just ended like that. It is a shame but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. Hopefully I’ll be able to do some competitions before the end of the season.
“I love watching snowboard cross on TV but it would have been good to have been there racing myself, but I think I will be more geared for the next Olympics and I will be there I hope.”
Unable to rest at ease, Wise made inroads into an alternative role at the Sochi Games where he has become something of a statistician for his sport, showcasing his knowledge and expertise to a national and worldwide audience. He also expressed his delight with the exposure snowboard cross been given and says he himself has had enquiries from enthusiasts keen to learn more.
“All the facts and figures about the riders have come from myself so I’ve been doing my research,” Wise said.
“That’s why I contacted the BBC as I knew the guys commentating might not know a great deal about the sport.
“It was amazing watching the BBC when they were coming out with all the stats I provided, and they gave me a shout out as well.
“I can’t be there in person so I am doing what I can.”