Murray Buchan remembers when he caught the Olympic bug and he’s got a VHS to thank for it.
Sport produces heroes and Buchan’s was Dan Wakeham – the first British male to compete in Olympic snowboarding.
Wakeham qualified for the Turin 2006 Olympic Games at the age of 25 and enabled a new generation of athletes to believe it was possible. Buchan was one of those, sat in front of the TV with stars in his eyes.
The Edinburgh half-pipe skier had started on snow some seven years previously, but unlike his idol, Buchan preferred skis and won his first British Championship title in 2008. Now at 26, the same age as Wakeham was in Turin, Buchan’s dream has already become a reality.
He made his Olympic debut in Sochi, finishing 17th as halfpipe made its debut, and only since then has he understood the gravity of his achievements.
“It was 2006 in Turin and it wasn’t actually watching Dan Wakeham live, but he brought out a video afterwards and it actually gives me tingles thinking about it because it’s such a special thing,” he said, as he prepares for his second Olympic appearance in PyeongChang.
“He brought out a video of him competing and his build up and when he’s talking about the Olympics, he’s saying you walk in and you realise the scale of the event and you realise how big a deal it is.
“For people back home it’s hard to get your head round and then you’ve got all your mates back home who are watching it on the TV, sending you messages and you realise that actually a lot of people do care.
“A lot of people want you do to well and the messages you get are so nice, there’s just such a good buzz.
“Watching it back then, I thought how amazing it would be to go to an Olympics and now looking back after Sochi, it still gives you sort of tingles thinking about it.”
Buchan, who stars on the intro to Ski Sunday, was 16th at last year’s World Championship in Spain but has yet to crack the top ten in four World Cup events this season.
However, he believes a single digits finish is possible in PyeongChang.
“Making the finals is the first goal and I feel like I’m skiing well enough to do that,” he added. “With the quality in this event it is a big target but I couldn’t be happier with my form right now.
“I learned from last time the part that pressure plays in the Olympics and I’m going in better prepared this time. I didn’t really get involved in skiing to do this, I just didn’t think it was a realistic goal.
“I remember watching the Winter Olympics on television and, even though this is my second one, it’s still quite incredible to think I’m a part of it.”
• You can watch Murray Buchan compete LIVE and on demand across Eurosport channels on Tuesday February 20th. Don’t miss a moment of the Olympic Winter Games on Eurosport, the Eurosport App (available on IOS, Android and Windows devices), and online at www.eurosport.co.uk/olympics