To Russia, with love..!


Winter Olympian, Ben Kilner, has arrived on Russian soil full of excitement as the 2014 Games get under way in Sochi tomorrow (Friday).

With his Snowboard Halfpipe event starting next Tuesday, February 11, at 2pm local time (10am GMT) Ben, from just over the hill in Banchory, is anxious to show the world what he has to offer.

He began his road to the world of professional extreme sports at the age of nine – school was closed owing to snow so his parents took him for a snowboarding lesson - and he has never looked back.

He is currently the British Halfpipe Champion, a member of the British World Cup Halfpipe team and he represented GB in the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010.

His main discipline is the half pipe, and with the addition of slopestyle to Sochi games, he was aiming to secure his spot in that too, falling just short.

His key achievements have been 2013:British Halfpipe Champion, 2011: British Halfpipe Champion, 2010:Winter Olympic Games Vancouver qualifier, 2010:Bronze Calgary World Cup, 2009:British Halfpipe Champion and 2005:European Youth Olympics finalist.

The Sochi Olympic torch will have been carried by 14,000 bearers on foot, bus, plane and many other forms of transportation over 65,000 kilometres.

It’s been on the go for 123 days across 2900 cities and villages since being lit by Russian premier, Vladimir Putin.

With 11 new venues and a price tag of over £30 billion, the Sochi Games enters the record books as the most expensive ever.

The Sochi gold metal comprises 516 grams silver and six grams of gold with Russia promising to pay $122,000 (£75k) to each of its gold medal winners.

Some 12 new events will debut this year at the Winter Games.