The Olympics are nothing new to Scotty James—he made his Olympic debut in Vancouver at age 15, becoming the youngest Australian athlete to compete at the Winter Games in over 50 years. Since then, he’s gone onto become a three-time world champ, won bronze at bronze at PyeongChang in 2018, and amassed 11 FIS World Cup Medals. In what might be a Beijing preview, he he just edged rival Ayumu Hirano for his fourth X Games gold.
At 27, James is at the top of the sport—but also reaching an age when many snowboarders begin to slow down. GQ caught up with the Aussie about his diet, soaking in glacial waters, and why remaining at the top is all mental.
For Real-Life Diet, GQ talks to athletes, celebrities, and everyone in between about their diet, exercise routines, and pursuit of wellness. Keep in mind that what works for them might not necessarily be healthy for you.
GQ: During the height of COVID, you were under the strict lockdown guidelines in Melbourne. What has it meat to get back to some normalcy this season?
Scotty James: For me and everyone else around the world, it was definitely something to adjust to. From a competitive standpoint, last season was a bit of a challenge. I would consider myself lucky with everything that did happen with the pandemic. We had a different scenario in terms of training and preparation for events. I kind of missed out on a full preseason, so we didn’t get to train as we normally would. Post that, I’ve felt really good leading into this season. We’ve been able to get to some normalcy on the mountain and traveling around Europe.
But I haven’t been back to Australia for about 15 months. I’ve been in Europe and prioritizing everything on my snowboard. Last year was a challenge but I think that was quite universal.
One of the more interesting recovery routines if yours that I've seen is soaking in this glacier ice bath. Why such an extreme method and what other things are you doing for recovery?
I’m not going to lie, getting into an ice bath in glacial water is not my favorite thing to do, but if I have to do it, I have to do it. I can still feel it through my bones.
I’ve got a lot of amazing tools for recovery. It plays a pivotal role in success, training, competition and being able to leverage some of my partners that are very clued in on this space. I use the Therabody Theragun a lot and anything that will keep me fresh. I think with where the sport is going, it’s progressing a such a fast rate, and recovery and making sure that I’m on top of all those things are as important as my training on the mountain.
How would you describe your philosophy on dieting?