Did you have any rolemodels as a kid and youngster?
My role models as a kid were Thomas Grandi and John Kucera. They are both Canadian ski racers who come from my home province of Alberta. I grew up watching them train and race and they both went on to be world class alpine skiers, Thomas winning two World Cup GS races and John having a ton of success on the speed side, highlighted with a Downhill World Championship.
If I am not mistaken you came into ski cross from alpine skiing. Which were your alpine disciplines and how did you decide for the transition into ski cross?
I was really a 4 event skier in alpine, but I always saw myself as more of a speed and GS guy. But while I was racing, I always had a love for being in the air, and I spent all of my free time in the terrain park or free skiing off piste. I actually got pretty good in the park, and would go in local contests for big air, slope style and halfpipe and I actually did pretty well. So once ski cross became an Olympic sport it seemed like the perfect fit for me.
If you have only five words to describe ski cross which ones would you choose?
Exciting, Fast, Thrilling, adrenaline, fun.
How often do you go skiing just for yourself, with your girlfirend or friends?
As often as I can but these days that doesn’t happen as much as I would like. I usually get a few days in the spring to ski with Catherine (my girlfriend) or with my buddies. I still love free skiing and touring into the backcountry, its so nice to get back to the sport that i love without the stress of racing.
Any favourite spots?
My favourite place to ski in the world is still at home at Lake Louise.
Injuries had a pretty important role in your career. How do you manage to cope with them and to get the motivation when you have to collect yourself for the comeback?
For me with injuries it has always come down to a really cut and dry approach. Ok this is what happened I broke my leg or my shoulder or whatever it was, what do I need to do to make it better? Will I still be able to be fast once I am all healed up? I was always able to answer these questions, often with lots of help from those around me, but it made it easier to come back knowing how I would do it and that I could still be fast once I was all healed up.
In Canada you could feel really strong connection to nature basically on every step. What is your personal attitude towards nature and outdoors?
I try my best to respect our environment and nature, its tough as I live a pretty crazy life travelling a lot and racing all over the place. I do what I can to help our planet and environment at home. I am an obsessive recycler and composter, and I ride my bike as much as I can at home. It’s not much but I really believe that if everyone could change a few small habits it could have a huge effect on our planet.
Your outdoor passions are very obvious also on your instagram profile. Are there any parallels between skiing, mountain biking and flyfishing?
With biking, anytime you are looking ahead and reacting at speed, it has a big relation to skiing. Some of the feelings are also the same in banked corners and turns and also over jumps. It’s also a good way to get a bit of a rush in the off season. As far as the fishing goes, not much I can attribute to skiing there!
The calmness of flyfishing seems to be quite a contrast to the action of skiing and mountain biking?
Fishing for me is a passion that I picked up from my dad. It is something we still do together, and I just love the quiet and calmness of being on the water.
Could you speak a little bit about mountain biking which is also a pure canadian obsession. What kind of riding do you prefer and where do you go for a ride?
For me I love mostly enduro style riding. Almost everything I ride is pedal access, but I suffer on the ascent to get the fun and rush of the downhills. My favourite riding zones are all in western Canada. Around Calgary, my hometown Moose mountain is a blast. The trails there are pretty flowy and fun, much like a ski cross! Further west Squamish and north Vancouver have some amazing trails and the riding on the west coast is some of the most technical and challenging anywhere in the world.
A lot of skiers say that the feeling of carving on skis and on the mountain bike have some similarities. What is your view?
They definitely have some similar feels, the way you have to keep your pressure on the downhill side of the turn, the feeling of driving the bike through a turn is pretty similar to finishing a turn on your skis as well. But I don't see myself as a very good bike rider so I may be a little bit off with this stuff!
How do you like summertime? Do you enjoy it or you are counting down the days when the new winter will begin?
Usually by the time summer rolls around I am ready for a break from my skis. I really look forward to getting some time on the bike and out on the water or the golf course. But once fall rolls around and the temperature starts to drop I can't wait to get back in the start gate.