Rosa Khutor: With teabags stuffed inside a bra and drawn-on moustaches, snowboarders are making a name for themselves as much for their quirky superstitions as from their dare-devil, gravity-defying tricks.
Great Britain’s freestyle snowboarder Jenny Jones. Pic/Getty Images.
At the Olympic Games in Sochi, snowboarders are relying on more than just their own skills or divine intervention. Some are also turning to witchcraft to help them in their daring quests.
One of the most unusual such superstition was that of British slopestyle boarder Jenny Jones, who used to stuff a specific teabag inside her bra on competition days. “That’s a long time ago, I haven’t had that for a while,” she laughed. “It’s from when I was younger, it pretty much disintegrated into nothing. I was working as a chalet maid and it was very rare to get teabags out in the mountains — this was quite a long time ago — so when people brought out British teabags I managed to get one of those teabags and kept it secure in my undies. I had a really good day that day and landed loads of new tricks, and decided that was the teabag.”
Jones, who competed in the slopestyle qualification heats on Thursday but missed out on direct qualification to the final, is not the only one. Czech snowboarder Eva Samkova draws a moustache on her face for good luck and she’s convinced this is no mindless ritual. “It just works,” she insisted.
Leoni’s lucky song
Italian Leoni Tommaso has a lucky song, listening to ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley and the Wailers as he makes his way to the start line.
Some freestyle skiers have similar personalised routines. Canadian Mikael Kingsbury always wears the same T-shirt — which says “It’s good to be the King” — under his competition bib because he had donned it the day he won his first World Cup podium place.