Dan wakehan Interview

Which event are you aiming to compete in?

I have been competing in halfpipe on a world cup level

What’s your ambition for this Olympics?

I’m not expecting to go to the Olympics and come away with a medal, for me it would be an achievement in its self to compete in the Olympics.

Do you think there’s enough help given in this country for people trying to compete in the Olympics?

I am put in to a situation where I feel like I am really moving forward in my progression but the money doesn’t seem to really follow.
its hard when I am at events and there all these guys from the states with a team of assistants, a few coaches, physios, board preps, I saw Ross Powers coach holding goggle lenses to the sky to decide which color lens he should wear.
They all seem to have so much support and so many opportunities that it is hard for us to compete.
To think that the uk has only had a world cup team for about two years now we have been doing ok, Zoe Gillings finished the season 4th in the world, Lesley finished high and I am the European champ.
We have no support from snowsport GB we have to pay £200 a month for the privilege of being on the team. That’s £ 2400 a year, that’s a lot out of my nike travel budget. Every thing is expected to come from our personal sponsorship

What’s your favorite resort and why?

In Europe its got to be the ports du solea, we are based in morgins, its a small village with a few small bars and a few shops. Season accommodation is cheap there is a lot of freeriding and the powder seems to stay untracked for a long time after snow fall. You can ride to la Crozet and Avoriaze for parks.
Morgins is only 30 mins to Lausanne and around an hour to Geneva so it is a quick and easy for shorts stays.
I really like the states for riding park and pipe.
mammoth is real good but there is a weird LA attitude where everyone you meet gives you a good look up and down to see if your dope or not.

What tunes are you listening to these days?

I have an I pod and it has really broadened my music listening. its mostly ranging from uk hip hop, drum n bass, bit of dance I am not really in to much rock, i generally like to listen to digitally produced music. I have been getting in to the new gorillazs album

What do you want to do when you finish competing?

after the Olympics it will be back in to world cup series until about April 2006.
As far as life after snowboarding goes, I can see myself working in the snow, skate, surf industry i have learned a lot and have a lot of contacts. probably some kind of PR work or events.

Who do you thinks pushing the boundaries of our sport today and why?

In compertions, other than the yanks the fins are ruling, anti auti! His runs are crazy, he does back to back 1080s grabbing the tail all the way through, not an easy thing to do!.

What’s your biggest interest outside the sport?

skateboarding, I like to skate bowls and vert. I am not very good at tech tricks.
i try to skate like I am on my snowbopard fast and dangerously

Ever owned an all in one ski suit, and if yes, what color was it?

Na never been in to ski suits

Which football team do you support?

ENGLAND! that’s it, I don’t really get much in to football.

When did you know you wanted to be a professional snowboarder?

I came to a point where I had to make a decision. I had spent six months in mammoth and was 6 grand dept.
I had come away from the season with good shots, a video part and good results.
I had to decide if I would go for the risk or get a real job I figured that getting money from the sponsors would be easy, but not so. Eventually I started riding for nike and things got better. the problem is that traveling to all the world cups costs a lot of money, a lot of money has to be raised to finance a whole season.

Ever been caught in an Avalanche, if yes what happened?

nothing to bad, just a little slip, but enough to make you shit your pants and wish you had a transceiver.

SuperpipeWhere’s your favorite Terrain Park and why?

Mammoth. The yanks just seem to do everything so well!
i have been to park city but would like to go back and ride it more

Have you ever been drug tested and do you think there’s drug abuse in the sport? (Steroids not hash!)

I haven’t been tested but am told that I can be tested at any random time.
I don’t think much steroids or any thing like that goes on, maybe in racing. I don’t know a lot about it, I guess it helps to have strong legs

What’s the highlight of your snowboard career so far?

I think the most recent highlight is winning the European cup, it wasn’t really planed, I was only intending to do a few events to get some points, but when I won both events I figured I would try and go the whole way

What’s your favorite book?

The internet

When, where, and why was the last time you fell off a drag lift?

I fall off quite a lot, summer riding seems to be all t bars, I find my self not concentrating or messing about and just losing it..

What’s your favorite snowboard DVD?

Afterbang, it led to a change in style in snowboard dvds. a light hearted film with a having a lot of fun kinda feeling.

What was your take on the Canadian Ross Rebagliati, who had his gold taken away and then reinstated when testing positive for cannabis at the Nagano Games?

I don’t really know his story but is cannabis a sports enhancing drug? I have snowboarded stoned before, its not very good for confidence but sometimes you can get in to a zone and have a really good session. but at the end of the day an athlete should not be taking any kind of drug. and then that leads to the question are snowboarders athletes and should snowboarding be an Olympic sport.

Unlike other Olympic sports snowboarding has come from a back ground like skateboarding where it has never really been taken seriously as a sport. Snowboarders weren’t athletes, they drank beer smoked dope and adopted a rebellious attitude. because snowboarding has been introduced in to the Olympics, snowboarders have had to clean up and become athletes.

I have found my self in positions where I will be staying in a resort at someone’s apartment, and after the bar we all sit down and some one will make a joint and start smoking, what do I do? Do I just sit there and try not to breath or do I make a scene and leave? I don’t want to fail a test on passive smoking.

What’s your favorite film?

Dunno

Where was the best Powder descent you’ve ever had?

The best powder day I have had was probably in Japan up on the north island, I forget the name of the resort but there was so much snow. Also the trees where more like the trees in the uk rather than Europe’s evergreens, the trees hold snow so you can bounce from tree to tree, they are known as mushrooms I spend most of my time riding park, so it is nice sometimes to have a good blast through some deep snow.

Please write a short profile of yourself

I am a 23 year old guy, Plymouth born and bred. I learned to snowboard on Plymouth dry slope at the age of 15. when I left school I did my first season in France. from then on I didn’t turn back, I worked summers and found jobs while I was a way on seasons.

did seasons in Flaine, France, Breckonridge Colorado, whistler Canada, Mammoth California, then I turned pro and have spent the last two seasons traveling around to events. I am the euro champion and now aim to qualify for the 2006 Olympics by competing at a world cup level.

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