The Snow Report
What it was like when you first heard you’d made the U.S. Freeskiing team, the first one ever?
It was pretty exciting. I was actually driving from Telluride to Durango when I got the call. I was so giddy that I had to pull over and let it soak in for a second.
What are you most excited about with regards to competing in the Olympics?
The prospect of doing what I do with millions of people watching and potentially winning a medal for my country.
How do you feel about slopestyle and half-pipe being inducted into the 2014 Olympics?
I think that the inclusion of slopestyle and half-pipe is going to be a big step for our sport in a lot of ways, but it’s also concerning in other ways. For half-pipe there’s less to worry about—the pipe is always 22 feet tall and although the length varies to some degree, it’s always pretty much the same. One of the most exciting and unique parts of slopestyle is that every course is unique. You don’t really know what to expect when you show up at an event and it’s always fun trying to put a run together. I’m nervous that slopestyle will become regulated, that they will announce the course layout in advance, and countries will have athletes training on a replica set up all the way up to the event. That’s not what our sport is about and I just don’t want freeskiing to lose its integrity by becoming part of the Olympics.
What’s your favorite mountain and/or favorite place to ski?
My favorite mountain is probably Whistler. It’s the biggest resort in North America and the amount of skiable terrain is insane. They always get a ton of snow, their park and pipe are really fun, and the après ski is some of the best I’ve experienced.
Where’s the best park and pipe in the world?
I would probably say Breckenridge has the best park out of any resort. They build the best jumps, they have fun rails, and the pipe is well kept, too.
If you had an unlimited budget and time, what would your dream ski day be?
I know that most skiers would probably say heli-skiing or neck deep powder but I think I would choose a bunch of crazy park features set up for just me and my friends. Snowmobiles would be lapping us and the landings would be soft from the sun.
Who influenced your skiing growing up? How about now?
Growing up, TJ Schiller was my absolute idol. I bought the clothes he wore, tried the tricks he did, the whole nine yards. Now Tom Wallisch is one of my favorite skiers. I love his style and the runs he puts together at contests. I also admire his ability to put together such amazing film segments every year.
Describe a typical day in your life. Is it all big pimpin’?
It’s pretty mellow—it usually consists of waking up, showering, maybe eating something small, skiing all day, eating a lot, and going to bed. Going to the movies is one of my favorite things to do. I’d say I do that like three or four times a week.