*** EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW FROM THE CURRENT ISSUE ***
We chat to the reigning Olympic half pipe champion from Australia about defending her title, also entering the slopestyle, randomly taking up boardercross too and feeling the best she’s ever felt on snow
Photos by Matt Georges & Euan Baxter, interview by Sam Haddad
You won half pipe gold at the last Winter Olympics and now we hear you’re planning to enter the boardercross at the next one, alongside half pipe and slopestyle. Have you always been good at boardercross?
No no I haven’t done boardercross since I was a very young kid, when I first started snowboarding. It came about two years ago, my brother who is also my coach, jokingly said, well I thought he said it jokingly, that I should “Go for all three!” But I just dismissed it and was like, “Oh no that’s way too much effort!” And then at the beginning of this year I thought, “Actually let’s give it a go!”
So you hadn’t ridden boardercross at all since you were a kid!? No I did my first boardercross races in January when the X Games Aspen was going on. I had a really hectic schedule. I was in Copper Mountain doing boardercross NORAMS (just below a World Cup event) and I had to do a couple to make sure that I had enough FIS points to actually start a World Cup race so I was doing them in the day then once the races were done I’d drive about 2.5 hours to Aspen to compete in the X Games.
Is boardercross more knackering than half pipe?
Actually no I was kind of surprised because you don’t do as many training days as you do in half pipe so yeah my body held up better than it did in the half pipe. I was like, “Oh my god it’s kind of like my body gets a break right now!”
So have you qualified in all three?
No I can’t say I’ve qualified for anything until next January. In boardercross I’ve competed in three World Cups so far so I do need more results and more experience.