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Adversity

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Adversity

Cameron Bolton

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Cam Bolton Olympic Snowboarder in Boarder Cross dispcipline.

In the 2014 Sochi games, Cam was boarding extremely well, but it wasn't with adversity.  Just before the Olympics he slightly strained his adductor.  This caused him to have to rest totally for the 2 weeks before the Olympics.  This is not only a huge inconvenience to an athlete's preparation but extremely frustrating.  Athletes do not like to rest, especially Cam!

2014 Sochi Olympics

After having to rest for the 2 weeks leading up to the Olympics, the Boarder Cross was put off for a day, because of the snow and visibility was terrible.  This also, didn't play into Cam's benefit, as he wasn't a high ranked athlete.  As a result of this qualifying was cancelled and they went straight into heats the following day instead, but meant that Cam would always be disadvantaged by the bad gates.

However, once Cam came out of the gate in the first heat, he was on fire.  He went through all the qualifying rounds easily, winning them all.  So now comes the semi final, with 6 riders in each semi final, the top 3 of each advance to the final with a 50/50 chance of a medal.  With Cam yet again leading the semi final, he only needed to  stay on his board and finish the race.  Unfortanately, sometimes in sport and life, things are out of your control.  An Italian rider went into a corner far too fast and as Cam who was leading and about to take a jump, was collected from behind, as the Italian athlete tried to use him to break his speed and careering of the course.  The collision took Cam out and in the process giving him a concussion, cut on his face and a right arm with several fractures. 

To Cam's credit he managed to compose himself and race the small final, only minutes later.  Sign of a true competitor, even with the injuries he sustained in the semi final crash.

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The pins, screws & plates in Cam's right arm, as a result of the very unnecessary Olympic Semi Final crash.

The pins, screws & plates in Cam's right arm, as a result of the very unnecessary Olympic Semi Final crash.

2014/2015 World Cup Season

Once Cam was back in Melbourne, he had his surgery but continued to train his legs even though he was unable to use his right arm.  After several months of training the rehabilitation at Energie4 began to increase the strength in Cam's wrist.  The 2015 World Cup season, Cam returned bigger, stronger and learning from his great results in the Olympics.  Unfortunately, at the start of another race he was taken out again in the start section and fractured his upper arm bone, in the shoulder region.  Again, ending a season ending injury, Cam came back to Melbourne for more rehabilitation which can be a very slow and frustrating time for an athlete.

2015/2016 World Championships Season

After yet another pre season of rehabilitation before Cam could start training for performance.  He had set himself a goal of increasing his muscle mass, so going into the 2016 season he was the heaviest and strongest he had ever been.  Several races at the start of the season were cancelled due to lack of snow.  However, Cam was focused to train hard and continue his quest to get back to his Olympic form.  

The first race of the season and Cam was ready to go after a couple of seasons of disappointment.  Cam was back! He raced well in every preliminary heats and finals making his first World Cup Final.  After leading the entire race a small mistake cost him his first World Cup win and instead he ended up finishing 4th, still his best World Cup result.

Since, he was looking so good at the previous race in Germany they asked him to test the course.  When disaster happened again as a result of the course.  Cam went too far off a jump and landed on his feet but the shock of over shooting the jump caused him to hit his coccyx on the snow and sent extreme force up his spine.  Ultimately fracturing a vertebra, yes a bone in his spine.  Even this did't damper Cam's snowboarding ambitions.  6 weeks after fracturing a vertebra he entered an ocean swim and came top 10.  This is after 6 weeks of lying on his back as he couldn't have too much force on his spine, so he was basically bed ridden.

2016/2017 World Cup Season

Finally, injury free for a season this season didn't produce the results Cam would of liked.  Thus, even though results didn't come there was still a great chance to learn about racing, competitors and courses.  Again, fuelling motivation for the next season and his preparation for the Olympic season.

2017/2018 Olympic Games

Coming into an Olympic season, the pressure and expectations are very high, both to make the team but also improve on the previous Olympics result.  Cam's World Cup results haven't been his best but it is enough to get his second spot on the Olympic team.  Now, all those past performances mean nothing.  Cam is at the Olympics and has the same shot at winning like all the athletes competing.  The most challenging part of the Olympics is performing when it counts, handling the pressure.  There is so much prestige being an Olympian but even more when you stand on the dais and become an Olympic Medalist. 

Cam was the best performing male & female Boarder Cross athlete in 2014, I know that he can do even better this year in a couple of days.  Look out for those dread locks flying down the course in Pyeongchang, this time he will be out in front and stay there to the final.

 

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It is always a pleasure and honour training athletes, assisting them to achieve their goals.  There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a Energie4, perform on the biggest athletic stage, the Olympics. 

From everyone at Energie4, we wish Cam an even better Olympics 4 years on and to see him go one better and contest for the medals in the Boarder Cross final.  If there is one athlete that can overcome all this adversity and win a medal for Australia, it's Energie4’s Cameron Bolton.

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