Wow. I can’t believe it’s already that time. That time, that sort of just lingered in my head 3 years ago, when I first heard the news of skiing being introduced to the olympic games. Tomorrow it’s happening, like those three years never happened.
I was never that into sports when I was a kid, and I never paid much attention to the world cups, and the olympic games that most of my family and friends would gather around. I just happened to be really into skiing, and that was kind of it. Being an olympic “athlete” was never even on my mind. I wanted to end up doing the following: 1. play in a rock band. 2. be a professional skier. 3. be a professional skateboarder. No particular order of preference. When I eventually became one of those things, the only “goal” I ever had in my skiing career was to one day make it to the X-Games. To me that was it, the absolute pinnacle of the sport. If I made it to the X-Games my life would be complete. The olympics were for jocks and old people, I thought.
I first made it to the X-Games at 18, and competed in it 7 years in a row. I never won a medal, but I had a great time there and managed to make finals a couple of times. I knew all along I liked filming better, and the years 2009-2012 I had a tough time mentally dealing with competing because I didn’t feel I got enough practice to keep up with all the new tricks if I wanted to make a movie segment simultaneously. Then the news of the Olympics came. It put me in a weird position, because I had already started to focus more and more on skiing big mountains, and I knew my mind was definitely headed in the same direction. I was elected to the first Swedish team, and went on a couple of trips with them.
In february last winter it was time for my first world cup, in St.Moritz, Switzerland. I had spent a month training park in Colorado, but broke my hand in Sweden on christmas. Instead of skiing more park, I spent january skiing powder with my friends in Europe, trying to think about something else. When the event came up, I switched my big skis to a park setup, and headed right into it. It was windy, icy, and most agreed on the poor shape of the course. I ended up somewhere in the middle of my heat, after dealing with winds and poor visibility. After finals I switched gear again, took the tram to the top, and skied the N face of the Corvatsch in the sunset. I think this was the pivotal moment, when I realized my heart just wasn’t there. I was trying to make the olympics, but not for myself, but for others. I had found my own path and committed to it, and wasn’t about to change my mind again.
this is what i did instead of practicing for the contest…
Of course, today I’d love to be in the olympics, not so much for the fame and glory or whatever it brings, but more because I know it really means a lot for the people around me. I guess if the olympics happened when I was 17 I could have been talked into it, but after 10 years of competing it’s different. I’d imagine some get confused over my decision but to me it just doesn’t mean very much. To me it’s something my parents would watch when I was outside jumping on a trampoline. However, I don’t want to take away any of the glory it means to my friends that are in it. I will be watching tonight, waving the flag for my fellow swedes, and of course my brother, who I am extremely proud of. He was always a great skier, but I never really thought he’d have it in him to make the top. Good luck!!!
Last but not least, if anything, tomorrow’s contest is by far the most important moment for slopestyle skiing’s future. I obviously have people I am rooting for, but if there ever was a contest where creativity and outside-the-box thinking should get rewarded, it’s this one. May the judges do the right thing!
Maybe I never made the olympics (I like to think the olympics never made me), but at least I can send a stand-in lookalike. Good luck Oscar!
In other news, I just got back in from an insane powder morning here in Revelstoke, lapping the resort with a fresh layer of 35 cms. Much needed in these parts of the world. These last couple of days are going to be wild!