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Tuesday, 15 January, 2002, 18:07 GMT

Ian Felton

Ian has been serving the international snowboard and skateboard community for more than 15 years.

A lover of extreme sports, he is looking forward to giving his expert snowboarding analysis in the commentary box at Salt Lake City.

One highlight of the Games for Ian will be watching good friend Lesley McKenna in action in the women's half-pipe event.

"I am very excited about covering the snowboard elements of the Winter Olympics, but one of the biggest thrills for me is being out in Salt Lake to see Lesley ride her Olympic dream," he explained.

"People said snowboarding would never catch on, now look at it - an Olympic sport"
Ian Felton

Ian's love of extreme sports began at nine years old when he first got hooked on riding BMX bikes.

After finishing school, he began working in the family business - a retail store selling bikes and skateboards - and a few years later, he was at the forefront of introducing snowboarding into the UK.

"I had been involved with skateboarding for a number of years and when I first started snowboarding back in 1988 I decided to make a business out of it," he said.

"I imported boards from Europe and the US and started a UK snowboard team. First of all, people said it would never catch on, now look at it - an Olympic sport!"

Ian hopes his personal involvement in extreme sports will help him bring the excitement of snowboarding into the homes of BBC viewers watching the Games.

He has picked up a wealth of experience along the way and has the bruises to show for it.

"I've dislocated my knee, ankle and collar-bone, I've cut and bruised my body countless times as well as snapped my jaw in two.

"But I have also climbed to the top of mountains and rode my snowboard in the paradise of powder."

Ian is an ambassador for Britain in international snowboard federation activities as well as being the 'Cultural Attaché' for the British Snowboard Association.

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