We just can’t get enough winter sports this season and, luckily, we have even more behind the scenes from the London Ski & Snowboard Show back in October. We think it’s time you got to know 24-year-old Murray Buchan. He started skiing at just 7 years old at his local dry slope in Edinburgh, he competed in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, and he is making his mark on the ski world in anticipation for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics.
Tell us about yourself and how you got into the sport?
I started at the local dry slope in Edinburgh (The Midlothian Snowsports Centre, formerly the Hillend Ski Centre). It was the longest dry slope in the world, at one stage. First of all, I absolutely I hated it! The reason I got into skiing was because my dad worked at Melanchi when he was younger, as a ski mountain rescue. He wanted something me, my brother and my sister could all do as a family so he got us all lessons when we were old enough. First of all I really hated it, I think it was because I wasn’t very good, but the better I got the more I learnt to love it. Then, when I was 9, you couldn’t get me away from that place! I spent my weekends there, my evenings there, and it snowballed from there.
Did the rest of your siblings take the same interest?
No, not really. They ski, my brother is quite handy on a pair of skis, so is my dad, but my mum and sister were never fussed. They would always enjoy going on holiday and doing it but that was the extent of it. They just had other interests whereas that was my main interest.
Is your dad happy he inspired you?
I don’t know, I like to think I’m the favourite and he’s happy with me but he’ll obviously never admit that. I think he’s secretly quite proud. I’d hope so anyway.
What would you have been if you didn’t take this career path?
I actually used to play a lot of rugby so I would have been playing a lot of rugby. I also enjoyed graphics and tech drawing, so maybe something along those lines.
What would you say is your favourite part of the course?
The freedom, you can do whatever you want. You can put you own style in to things, no one can force you to do anything. You’re in control, you can do what you want. I just quite like that aspect of it, that it’s all down to you. It’s quite free flowing I suppose.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your year?
I think the hardest bit is the travel, everybody thinks it’s really glamorous going to all these places, and it’s brilliant, don’t get me wrong. But it is quite difficult flying into somewhere, driving into the resort and then flying back out again. You don’t really see much of the place. That’s the hardest part, going around from place to place and living out of a bag. It has it pros and its cons, like anything.
What is your favourite place you’ve been to visit?
Lwaxana in Switzerland. I spend quite a lot of time there. I really like it there because it’s quite familiar, it’s like home and has some really great facilities. I don’t know why but there’s just something about it that I really enjoy.
What’s up next, do you have anything big coming up?
Qualifiers for the Olympics start now, so I’ll be travelling round to the World Cups; one is in Colorado, and then one is in California. The World Cup Finals will be a big one as well and that will be in Spain; which is quite a strange place. You fly into Malaga where you don’t think of skiing, you think of stag and hen parties. And it’s a hot place and you’ve got all your ski stuff. It’s actually the high altitude training centre for Spain, so athletes train there. It’s this little mountain town with a big training centre on the side.
Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of getting into the sport?
Just enjoy it! If you’re fortunate enough you can go and get lessons but, if you’re not enjoying it, you won’t progress at all. If you’re enjoying it, it will be fantastic and you’ll find it very easy to kick off.
Do you ever get nervous before you kick off?
Yeah, I just accept the fact that I’m nervous. Nerves are a good thing, it means you have to focus. I just put my headphones in and focus on the task at hand.
Do you come to London much?
I used to come to the ski show every year, that’s my experience of London. I usually just end up going out with my friends – a lot!
Delancey is proud to be Principal sponsor of British Ski and Snowboard (BSS), which is the National Governing Body for Skiing and Snowboarding in the UK. They provide incredible opportunities for athletes to achieve their full potential in the sport – both as individuals, and as a team. Stay tuned over the coming weeks as we meet more young members of BSS.