Three-time Australian snowboard champion Jay Onley has seen the "bad boys" of skiing turn snowboarding into one of the most popular winter sports in the world.
And he believes Vancouver will give Australia its best results in snowboarding yet, with Torah Bright, Damon Hayler and Alex Pullin all good medal chances.
"In winter sports no one expects the Aussies to win, so we have to go for gold against all the odds," said Onley, who will be the commentator for snowboarding events on Nine’s Olympic Winter Games coverage.
Onley, who competed at the top level from 1990 to 2004, was ranked number three overall in the world in 1996. He won two World Heli Challenge titles and finished second in the Extreme World Heli Challenge. He has featured in 10 international snowboard movies, called the snowboard pro tour in the USA for the ESPN network, and worked on the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics for the Seven Network, before joining Nine’s Wide World of Sports as a presenter and commentator.
He has also been a presenter on Fuel TV, served three years as president of Ski and Snowboard Australia, and worked on development programs and selection committees for his sport. He remains active in the international snowboard scene, counting riders, coaches and champions as friends.
One of Onley's greatest adventures was riding in Alaska for six years, filming daredevil descents with the legends of extreme snowboarding and riding avalanches down steep mountains.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the progression of tricks at Vancouver, which is a major destination for the snowboarding community," he said.
"I remember watching Shawn White as a nine year-old, thinking he was the future. Now he returns as the Olympic champion, promising to push the level of tricks to new highs - and ensuring that the snowboarding in 2010 will be awesome."