Olympian chat puts St Albans’ Max Jorge in the path to his snowboard glory

St Albans snowboarder Max Jorge.

St Albans snowboarder Max Jorge. - Credit: Archant

It was once viewed as a way of chilling out with friends – but a chance conversation with an Olympian has put a St Albans teenager on the path to being a professional snowboarder.

Max Jorge first took to the slopes when he was eight after watching his dad but within a couple of months the Marlborough Science Academy student was completing tricks from the highest of jumps.

And despite the struggles of managing his studies and his sport, Jorge’s love for snowboarding and ambitions of competing in the Winter Olympics and X Games in years to come was fuelled courtesy of Jamie Nicholls, a competitor for Team GB at the 2014 Games in Sochi.

“I kept falling over so everyone thought I wouldn’t stick at it but then I got better,” he added. “Then I started going out on my own and I fell in love with it.

“Within the first couple of months I got better than my dad, I was doing jumps and just progressed from there. It was just so much fun riding with my friends, chilling out.

“I didn’t really look at it as a thing I wanted to do when I got older but then I met Jamie and it made me want to be a pro snowboarder. From just speaking to him he inspired me, I can now call him a good friend of mine.

“I want to compete at the X Games and the Olympics in the future, but I need to train hard and practice a lot more so I can compete more and then hopefully rise the ranks a little bit.

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“I have just stepped up to bigger jumps now, my style is coming along, and I am feeling more confident in my riding. When I am watching all the pros I look at their style and how they perform their tricks, to help me become the best athlete I can be.”

And now aged 14, his rapid rise has taken him around the globe to compete in youth competitions.

“It’s obviously a very expensive sport,” he said, speaking at a SportsAid workshop. “You need to go away a lot and have all the right equipment.

“I’m in year 10 so it’s getting hard and it’s only going to get harder. Normally, my school give me work and I bring it out with me. I will give myself a day to complete all my studying then I am back out riding and training.

“When I am at school I need to knuckle down because if I ever get injured, I need to have a backup.”

SportsAid supports the most promising young British athletes by providing them with a financial award, recognition and personal development opportunities during the critical early stages of their careers. The athlete and parent workshop hosted at Newmarket Racecourse was supported by funds raised by the RBC Ride for the Kids.