James Toney met Shirley's Billy Morgan in PyeongChang ahead of the Shirley snowboarder's second Winter Olympics this weekend.

Billy Morgan defies gravity and explanation, he is quick-witted and confident but also admits to being shy with nagging moments of self-doubt.

All of which seems a little hard to believe when you see the Southampton snowboarder flying, twisting and spinning through the air without an apparent care.

Billy, who began snowboarding as a 13 year-old at the Southampton Alpine Centre in Thornhill Road, having honed his skills at Southampton Gymnastics Club and skateboarding on the streets of Shirley, is preparing for his second Winter Olympics in PyeongChang this weekend.

It’s more than five years since he became an internet sensation when he landed the first Triple Backside Rodeo 1260 and in 2014 he made the first-ever Olympic men’s snowboard slopestyle final in style, posting the top score in qualifying.

But, in the end, he fell on both his runs and ranked tenth, a gold or bust mentality underlining his approach to the sport, especially when a repeat of his semi-final score would have won him bronze.

Morgan, 28, though is a ‘go hard or go home’ sort of guy - his spirit is not measured in halves and last year he became the first man to land the big one, a Quad Cork 1800 - which features five dizzying rotations in just under three seconds.

“I think some people don’t get ‘the fear’ but I get it more now than before. Just being a bit older I get ‘the fear’ a bit more,” admits the former Bellemoor schoolboy.

“When you are attempting a really big trick, you just worry about it all the time.

“When I go to bed, sometimes I find it hard to get to sleep because I’m just fretting about stuff in my head.

“But when that moment comes where you know you’re going to try it, you don’t really have time to be worrying about how scared you are. However, I definitely feel the pressure.”

For someone with instant likeability and apparently effortless cool, Morgan, it seems, is a big worrier.

In Sochi four years ago the underside of his board was emblazoned with the words ‘I’m having more fun that you’ - which certainly looked the case to most observers in a sport famed for its apres-ski.

Morgan competes in two events in South Korea, with big air making its debut on the schedule ten days after this weekend’s slopestyle action.

He took his first look at the course yesterday and - using words only snowboarders can - declared himself a happy man.

Slopestyle sees snowboarders judged as they perform a dizzying array of tricks and jumps on a downhill course pitted with obstacles. And organisers haven’t made life easy for those going for gold this weekend.

“I was actually quite chilled being out there for the first time,” he said.

“Normally I ride contests and I’m bricking it. But it was a good sign and it will make it easier for my stress levels to be a bit more mellow, cruising around.

“Things will get a lot ‘narlier’ when it comes to the competition though.

“I think it’s better not to make expectations of what something should be like and just get here and work it out.”

Many athletes will talk about pencilling the date of their Olympic moment in their diary years in advance, but not Morgan.

“If I did that, if I chained these Olympics in my mind, I wouldn’t enjoy it and I wouldn’t perform,” he adds.

“It’s scary to put yourself under that much pressure. I need the fun stuff in my life or it’s way too intense.”

Watch Billy Morgan compete on Eurosport 1 on February 10th. Don’t miss a moment of the Olympic Winter Games on Eurosport and Eurosport Player. Go to www.Eurosport.co.uk