As Brendan, Bubba, Newby stepped up to the halfpipe in mismatched skis, Bubba yelled at the top of his lungs, “It’s dinna time!”
Trying to stop the nerves from settling in, he tried to distract himself. In an interview with Deseret News, Bubba said, “The more you can distract your brain from thinking about it, from letting it get in your head (the better).”
For Tuesday’s Competition, Bubba wasn’t expecting that he would have to wear mismatched skis. He broke one of them on Mammoth Mountain earlier. Luckily, he brought another pair with him to South Korea. He wasn’t really sure why he felt he needed to. However, time soon showed him why he needed the extra pair. It was the first day of training and he broke one of the skis. Another competitor offered to let him borrow his. However, the bindings didn’t work.
He tells Deseret News, “It’s been unreal,” he said, wrapped in an Irish flag after finishing 22nd, 10 spots below the cut to qualify for the finals, with a first run score of 53.80. “For the rest of my life, I’m an Olympian. And it’s something I’ve wanted my entire life. So to have it actually happen, I can’t even put it into words.”
On Wednesday after his first run, he was one spot away from qualifying in the finals. However, Bubba is not upset by it. In the same interview, he said that he is just interested in improving his run. He set personal goals for himself and he was able to accomplish them. He is thrilled that he has had this experience and can say that he is an Olympian.
He didn’t start skiing with a coach until he was 14. He taught himself and watched YouTube up until then. However, his mom suggested that he should get a coach. He also said that his sport was never a sport until 2014. There was no one to look up to from the event growing up. However, this Olympics, he has achieved his personal goals and represents Ireland well.