Hellooooo again, from over the Pacific.
Oh, how I love the feeling I have in the air! It never ceases to amaze me, when I look out the window, that I’m actually flying above the clouds. … And that it’s my passions that bring me there. Life is fine!
So far this season, coming back to competing after some time off, I have certainly learned a lot, felt a lot; it’s been an enlightening and humbling experience. I broke my arm and finger early season (Dec 9); both required surgery. Subsequently, I took 7 weeks off skiing to first heal, then to gain the strength I needed to feel to be confident for a return to competitive skiing.
Korea was awesome, I loved checking out the next host Olympic venue where I plan to be competing in two years! Fingers crossed (luck + a lot of training and planning). From Korea, I flew directly to Oslo to meet other international athletes in snowboard, ski and skateboard for the first ever X-Games in Oslo, Norway. Though I hadn’t competed in Big Air in years, I was excited for the opportunity and experience. How could I miss it?!
I arrived to greet so many familiar faces as X-Games has become something like a second home to me over the many years I have competed at the event. Right away, I felt good in the city – the architecture was beautiful, the athletes’ host hotel was convenient located in the heart of the city in the Oslo Grand Central Station, and the Oslo-ites all seemed very happy to welcome and help us.
The venue itself was a little intimating at first… We rolled up to a scaffolding structure that must have been at least 15 stories high (if not higher). As I gathered my gear and made my way to the ride up, I chuckled at the open-concept, slightly rickety mini elevator that was to take us athletes us up, 3 at a time. Well, where’s the excitement in life if you’re not scaring yourself a little? Luckily I am not scared of heights, and as I did it more and more, I began getting lost in the Olso skyline that was ever-consuming and quite breathtaking! I found myself smiling at the thought that this was a view very few have ever seen.
The jump itself was amazing. Very well built – though I would not expect any less at the X-Games. There were only 6 invited female ski athletes, so we were an intimate little crew up there, high-fiving each other, having fun.
I stuck to my original plan to compete with a smooth switch flat 720, but unfortunately I didn’t execute them just how I wanted and didn’t make my way to the podium this time. I soaked up the amazing experience; the wild crowds, the beautiful sights, the talented atheltes that surrounded me, and thanked the city for welcoming me.
Because we had a lot of free time in between practices, I had the opportunity to stroll the streets of the city, visiting landmarks like the Oslo City Hall, Opera House, and check out local coffee and restaurant hot spots. It was a new experience to be able to cruise a major city during an event as we are usually lodged somewhere far up in the mountains. I loved it, and left a big piece of my heart in Norway!
Next up I met the Canadian team in Silvaplana / St. Moritz, Switzerland, where I got to explore another place I hadn’t yet visited. Oh, it was so nice to be back in the Alps! The Swiss countryside is absolutely stunning.
It felt good to be back in the start gate for a slope competition. The course was a little different that usual, which is what I love most about slopestyle; it’s always different and you can basically dance and create your own flow with different features. I had fun playing through the course with my teammates, bouncing around from feature to feature. The weather was a bit tricky throughout the week, but we made the best of it. Onto the finals, I skied a solid run which brought me into 4th after some very strong contenders. The younger gen is definitely stepping it up and I’m working on my end to hold it down for the OGs… ha! One step, two steps, three… making my way back into the start gate.
I feel more grateful than ever to be traveling the world, setting eyes on places I thought I might never see, and regardless of some less-than-perfect results, this little world tour has been amazing. Learning from it all.
Onwards!!! Now for some spring skiing < 3