Half-pipe skier Murray Buchan set for Olympics

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It’s a rough and ready Scots word introduced to millions when the severe winter storms of two years ago were dubbed “hurricane bawbag”. Now an Olympics-bound skier is preparing for some tricky questions about his sponsor Bawbags Underwear.

Murray Buchan, 22, of Colinton, is gearing up for the biggest event of his life after being selected to compete for Team GB in the half-pipe skiing event of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

Murray Buchan says he has decided on his moves for Sochi. Picture: Greg Macvean

Murray Buchan says he has decided on his moves for Sochi. Picture: Greg Macvean

As well as the usual questions about his preparation and fitness, Murray is ready for ones about his unusually named supporters.

The former Firhill High pupil said: “I’m sponsored by Bawbags Underwear, among others, and I’ve gotten quite used to people asking what the name means when I go abroad. I just tell them they make boxers, and leave it at that.”

The British Championship winner, who has been skiing since he was seven, was one of the last to learn of his selection for the Games, which was announced yesterday.

He said: “I’ve been in Denver, Colorado, since November, splitting my time between training and competing in some of their events.

“I flew into London this morning to get a connecting flight to Scotland and as soon as I switched my phone on it started going crazy with text messages, calls and tweets from people congratulating me.”

First in line were his parents Michael and Gillian, who got him skiing lessons as a child so the family could take a holiday in the Les Arcs resort in Savoie, France.

“My dad had always been a keen skier and they got me lessons at Hillend Snowsports Centre in Midlothian. To be honest, I actually hated it at first. It’s a difficult skill to learn and it took me a long time to get confident. But, when I started to get better at it, I really fell in love with it and I’m obviously very glad I stuck at it now.”

Murray first became interested in half-pipe skiing when he was a teenager. The sport involves performing tricks on a half-pipe, similar to the ones used by skateboarders.

“It’s been around for a long time but was only officially added to the Olympic program a few years ago.

“I’ve already got my moves pretty much decided upon and there should be a double flip in there. It’s hard to say who my biggest rival will be – America, Canada and France are all really strong competitors.”

While the skier said that he did not know enough about the controversial Russian law on gay “propaganda” to comment on how it may affect the Winter Games, he did say that he is not put off by reports of increased security being laid on to prevent possible terrorist attacks.

He said: “I think the Russians will probably have the security angle more than ­covered.”

One thing he will be giving a miss is the double toilet in the men’s at the Olympic Biathlon Centre in Moscow. A picture of it went viral on Twitter.

Murray said: “Two toilets side by side? I’m pretty sure that’s not for me.”

Scots word an internet hit

THE term bawbag gained worldwide recognition in 2011 after the worst storm to hit Scotland in ten years, officially named Friedhelm by the Free University of Berlin, were dubbed ‘Hurricane Bawbag’ by one social media user.

Millions of Twitter users around the world, most of whom did not know the meaning of the word, made the term viral and Hurricane Bawbag became an internet sensation.

Hurricane Bawbag even had its own ­Facebook page and inspired a range of T-shirts. Bawbag is Scots slang for scrotum and is also used to describe an annoying person.

Rob Gibson, convener of the Scottish parliamentary environment committee, was the first politician to use the term on national television.

The person who coined the storm’s name is unknown.