"Do what you love and love what you do."
My Perfect Adventure
When it comes to picking an ideal landscape, some of us are beach people and some of us are mountain people. And then there are those like Brita Sigourney, who ask themselves the question: Why should we have to choose at all?
Sigourney may be one of the world’s top freeskiers, but she also feels alive in the ocean. The 22-year-old California native grew up on the coast and took to the water right away, joining swimming, diving and water polo teams during her school years, while also playing a bit of soccer and basketball (again, why choose just one sport?). Despite living about five hours away from the mountains of Lake Tahoe, her parents took her there and showed her how to ski as well. She started learning when she was just a toddler, and by the time she was 14 she was competing in all five freestyle disciplines.
Eventually, Sigourney decided to focus on skiing, leaving college at the University of California, Davis, to train in Park City, Utah. In addition to taking medals at her last two X Games, she made skiing history this year by becoming the first woman to land a 1080 trick in a full superpipe run. She can claim titles from the 2010 Junior World Championships, the 2011 Dew Tour and Copper Mountain Grand Prix, and the 2012 U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain in California, but she hasn’t forgotten her love of the deep blue.
Here, Sigourney describes her urge to visit Indonesia, the time she saw blue-footed boobies in the Galapagos Islands, and why she sometimes imagines life as a professional surfer.
Describe your perfect day, from dawn 'til dusk. Where would you be, who would you meet, and what would you do?
I would be in a hut in the backcountry somewhere in Alaska, in a location that is only accessible by helicopters or snow CATs. There would be tons of fresh snow, and I would spend the day lapping the best lines with the friends I love skiing with most. Once we had our fill, we would go back to the hut, where there would be a nice fire and we would make a big family dinner with wine.
If you could travel somewhere you've never been, where would you go and why?
Indonesia, because I've only seen beautiful pictures from there and heard great things about the place. Between the lush green hills and turquoise waters, it seems like a must on everyone’s travel list. Friends who have visited say the natives are welcoming and friendly, and there is nothing better than traveling somewhere so far away to be greeted with open arms. I love the beach as much as I love the snow, and I would love to experience the ancient traditions and Western-influenced culture that exists there.
Where is the best place you've ever visited? What made it so special?
Probably the Galapagos Islands. When I was younger, my parents took our family on the best vacations. Even though I was young, maybe 13 years old, and probably didn't appreciate it as much as I should have at the time, it was an incredible experience to look back on. I saw some of the most amazing animals, like blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, flamingos, sea lions sprawled across the same beach we were walking. There were also 100-year-old tortoises, albatross in flight, and penguins that swam right next to us while playing in the ocean. The views were amazing from our boat and even better once we got on the islands. Everything was so lush, and the cliffs that rimmed each island were amazing to stand on. I saw things that I would never have the opportunity to see anywhere else.
If you could have lunch with any adventurer, explorer, or athlete, who would it be and why?
Usain Bolt, because he is the fastest man in the world and he has the confidence every great athlete should. He seems like he knows how to have a good time, even when he’s competing at the Olympics.