MURRAY BUCHAN has done all he can to ensure he will be on the plane to Pyeongchang for the 2018 Winter Olympics in February but the halfpipe skier admits that despite having safely met the qualification criteria, he won’t feel secure until he is on the start line in South Korea. 
While the 25 year-old from Edinburgh is far from complacent about his place in Team GB, he admits that this Olympic build-up has been considerably less stressful than it was four years ago when he was selected for his first Olympic Games."Hitting the qualifying criteria like I’ve done doesn’t actually guarantee you'll be there because anything can happen in skiing - you can get injured or they could just decide to take someone else," he said. 
"It is nice to have the criteria though because last time I was panicking about results whereas this time, I just have to worry about how I’m going to ski.”
As with every British skier, Buchan spends weeks on end on the road and uses much of his spare time devouring books. His reading-list includes everything from fiction to autobiographies as well as books that help his performance on the ski slope. “At the moment, I’m reading Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed,” he said. 
“Reading helps me take my mind off Olympic qualification. I’ve had to teach myself how not to think about things too much and compared to four years ago, the difference is night and day. Before Sochi, I was constantly sitting at my computer scrolling through the ranking points and going over every possible scenario but now I’m much better at only worrying about what I can control.”
Buchan has had a strong year including a 16th place finish at the World Championships in March and his Olympic preparation has been aided further by a 'super-tramp', which is a piece of new  equipment acquired by the British team  to help the skiers learn new tricks. "It's basically two Olympic trampolines stitched together and it allows to practice your tricks without the risk of falling twenty feet onto snow," he said. 
"You always reach the point when you just have to go for it though. In this sport, you have to be ballsy but not fearless. If I’m trying a new trick, I’ll openly admit that I get scared and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you don’t let it take over."
Buchan has a busy few months ahead, with stints in London, Austria and Colorado just a few of locations he will be finalising his preparations for the Olympic Games. Despite his full schedule though, he admits that he allows his thought to occasionally drift to Pyeongchang and a second Olympic appearance because he knows just how special being a part of such a monumental event can be. “I am thinking about the Olympics," he said. "I have some framed memorabilia from Sochi in my house and that reminds me what an amazing experience the Games were and what a privilege it was to be there. 
"So as much as I try not to think about it because you can get really overwhelmed, you just can’t help it. It does get you really excited when you think about the Olympics because it was one of the best experiences of my life and so hopefully I'll be there again."

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