Harding (2010c)

TITLE: The Ben Mates Interview.

REFERENCE: Harding JW. (2010)  Images: Fawcett, A., Weyerhaeuser, M., Laurila, C.  (2010).  The Ben Mates Interview.  www.AnarchistAthlete.com. Published 10th February.

ABSTRACT: When February 2010 rolls around, Ben Mates will be the first Australian male half-pipe snowboarder to have qualified for two Winter Olympic Games.  And this time round he did it on his own terms and with his own green. Put that in ya crack pipe and smoke it.  He has spent the past four years free of any restrictions, focusing on hunting down the Olympic standard 22ft pipes and elite-level competition that would provide him the means to qualify for Vancouver 2010.  In doing so the south coast local has succeeded whilst flipping the bird at the sports establishment that seemingly did not want anything to do with him. There is no doubt Mates is antiauthoritarian. A ‘fuck em if they can’t take a joke’ kind of guy.  It is a refreshing attitude.    Anarchist Athlete founder Jason Harding caught up with Ben via email just before he drops in and throws down at the 2010 O-Show.  Words Jason Harding.  Images Andrew Fawcett, Mike Weyerhaeuser, C laurila.  JH: So Ben, you just qualified for your second consecutive Winter Olympic Games. The first Australian male halfpipe rider to ever pull that off. How fucken cool is that. I hear you are at some private resort training at the moment. Sounds like a bit of a pamper package to me, complete with massages, manicures, the works. Where is your head at right now and how is your preparation heading into the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver?  BM: Yeah I’m pretty stoked to have managed to qualify for my second Winter Olympics, It’s something I worked really hard for and I always knew I could do it. I am currently Training at Otsego Resort in Michigan USA, it is a private ski hill so the hill is fairly uncrowded which has made for some great training. The resort has provided everything we need with a 22 foot pipe, 22ft spine into a huge air bag to practice our tricks. They also have great food and have provided us with some fun activities to keep us occupied when we are off the hill like skeet shooting, ice fishing and plenty of rides on ski doo’s. It’s been great riding with the other Aussies Nate and Holly and the coach Andrew Burton has definitely helped my riding over the past week. I’m feeling pretty good heading into Vancouver.  Download Full Paper …

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