James targets Olympic gold

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Hope Valley freestyle skier James Machon says he’s living the dream, as he prepares to make his Olympic debut.

The 23-year-old has been crowned British Halfpipe Champion for four consecutive years since 2008 and has set his sights on adding to that success in Sochi.

It has been a long road, however, full of twists and turns for the former Bamford Primary School pupil who was dealt a cruel blow in October 2012 when he sustained a career threatening injury.

Machon suffered a tear to his anterior cruciate ligament and there were further complications in his recovery which sidelined him from the sport he loved for a year.

But he defied the odds to qualify for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and his selection for the Great Britain team was confirmed last month.

He flew out with the rest of the squad on February 5.

• See this week’s Advertiser (out from Thursday February 13) for the full story.