"During my first season in Lake Louise I was actually hitch-hiking to the mountain and I got picked up by the event coordinator of the adaptive Canada snowboard team"
British snowboarder Ben Moore started off his second competitive season with a bang, winning two World Cups in snowboard-cross head-to-head, but it was a chance meeting in Canada that started the 28-year-old on his journey which could now see him win gold at the World Championships in just over one weeks’ time.
Whilst trying to qualify as a snowboard instructor following a motorcycle accident in 2006 which left him without the use of his left arm, Moore travelled to Lake Louise, Canada, for his first season on snow in 2010-11.
What happened next could only be described as fate.
“The way that I managed to get into the racing side of things was that during my first season in Lake Louise I was actually hitch-hiking to the mountain and I got picked up by the event coordinator of the adaptive Canada snowboard team, and she was telling me about this event that was about to go on at the hill that I was working on,” Moore described.
“She told me about a World Cup and I asked if I could enter. She said that we would go for an assessment, so we went out to the mountain and I took her to the steeper terrain with cliffs and drops and stuff and just chucked myself off anything I could find. I even landed some of them!
“She let me enter, we worked out the paperwork somehow, I got a race license and I competed for Great Britain. I finished twelfth out of 24.”
As well as a snowboard instructor, Moore was previously a lifeguard, paintball marshall and even worked as a carer for people with intellectual impairments.
This is some contrast to the life he has been living since his World Cup wins in snowboard-cross in January have thrust him into the limelight.
“Since I’ve come home there has been a crazy influx of emails and craziness going on,” he said. “I don’t ever want it to affect the way I ride because as soon as I start to put pressure on myself I probably won’t ride as well. Sometimes a little bit of pressure is good but sometimes it’s too much as I’ve seen with other athletes.”
Moore now heads to the 2015 IPC Para-Snowboard World Championships in La Molina, Spain, from 23-28 February, as a front-runner. But wins in the men’s head-to-head upper-limb impairment races in Aspen, USA, and Big White, Canada, have not given him extra confidence.
“I’m not overly confident, not at all. I just hope that I can ride to my ability and continue the way I started the season,” he said.
“I know if I can ride to my ability, hopefully I can produce what I’ve produced already. If I don’t then, everybody has their days.”
Moore is amongst around 80 other riders from 20 countries expected to compete at La Molina 2015 in banked slalom and snowboard-cross.
Media accreditation is available at LaMolina2015.com.