Last year was a big success landing you a silver medal in Aspen. What do you think made for such a successful competition?
Last year was a dream come true. It was an insane week of skiing. Everything clicked, I felt really good mentally and physically. I was just having fun on my skis, not really worrying about too much, just happy to be there and not being stressed. It was a good mental space to be in. I put down the dream run that I had been thinking of for years. I didn't think I could actually land it. Everything all coming together. It's a day I’ll never forget.
I put down the dream run that I had been thinking of for years. I didn't think I could actually land it. Everything all coming together. It's a day I’ll never forget.
Is there anything you changed coming into X Games this year with your equipment or preparation?
For preparation, I tried to keep it the same as last year. I've had the opportunity to go on a couple of training camps. I spent September in New Zealand skiing and then two months in Europe. I was able to get comfy, learn new tricks, and try to progress my jumps, working on both technicality and style. It was a good start to the season after the summer break. I've [also] had the opportunity to work with a couple of new sponsors for this season and beyond.
How do you hope to follow up on your breakout performance from last year?
X Games is the biggest event of the year, you have the most eyeballs on you, and you want to perform. Last year was a little extra nerve-wracking with the Olympics the week after. Especially with covid restrictions and protocols, I had to take as many precautions as possible to avoid getting sick and jeopardizing my Olympic dreams. I had to get my own rental car, stay by myself, and isolate, even buying groceries online to leave no chance. This year I am excited and want to take the opportunity that I’ve been given to go for it. I want to showcase unique and creative skiing plus push my technical limits. I want my skiing to look fun for the generations coming up, not just spinning to win. Hopefully, I’ll be able to back up my performance from last year.
Are there any competitors that inspire you in the field? Past and present?
Some inspirations I had growing up were Bobby Brown, Jon Olsson, and JP Auclair in the slopestyle realm, their skiing inspired mine when I was younger. My past coach Dave Crichton was a huge inspiration and help as well. In the current field, there's a ton of talent who inspires me to push to be better technically and creatively. Colby Stevenson, Alex Hall, and Henrik Harlaut are all guys that started as competitors and guys I looked up to and now are my friends. My good buddy Evan McEachran is a constant person of inspiration as well, he’s been doing it for so long, and I can always go back to him with ideas. He has helped guide the way for me.
Do you find inspiration from other sports?
I find inspiration from almost every other board sport, skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing. I spend a ton of time skating in the summer. I get stoked watching people ride creative lines and transitions well. A lot of inspiration comes from snowboarding. I try to dabble on the snowboard when I can. Mark McMorris is a huge inspiration and role model. I grew up watching the Warren Miller films, and Craig Kelly and Tommy Gesme had a style I wanted to emulate and bring into my skiing. Overall I want to draw from as many aspects as possible to make my skiing as well-rounded as possible.