- Freestyle Skiing
Double duty: freeskier crossover athletes
With the addition of freeski slopestyle and halfpipe to the Olympics, the Olympic qualifying events have become conduits for creating crossbred athletes. The challenges of doing just that for any competitor - as the amount of progression pushing athletes currently competing makes for a pool that is deeper than the Grand Canyon - is the additional balance of training for both and actively competing in grueling back-to-back events.
Embedded owg_slideshow: Crossover freeskiers: Devin Logan & Gus Kenworthy
Devin Logan is no stranger with pulling double duty. She’s been skiing both halfpipe and slopestyle since she was 13.
“It’s nothing foreign for me,” says Logan. “It’s just two different events, but I feel one helps me out with the other. I’ve been doing it so far, so why not go for both.”
Like her sport’s culture, Logan looks at the challenges of competing in two events with an open and positive mind.
“I have to split up my time to train to be equally good in both, so it’s a little draining mentally and physically, but I get the job done somehow and I have a good support team behind me to help me prepare and get ready: Ski techs, coaches, agents, publicists and family.”
Event schedules often give competitors very little time to prepare for their other event. Just to qualify for the final in both events at the iON Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, Colo., in December, Logan, who actually has a slight preference toward slopestyle, had only a two-hour window between each run. (She wound up winning slopestyle and placing fifth in the halfpipe.)
Despite the tight schedules, training for two events and even coaches fighting for her attention, Logan may actually have an advantage over all of her one-event competitors. After tearing her ACL in the fall of 2012, Logan kept busy by becoming a certified freeskiing judge.
“It gives me an edge because I know what the judges are saying in the back of my head.”
Embedded owg_slideshow: Devin Logan sings, wins gold at World Cup opener
Gus Kenworthy is considered the most well-rounded freeskier on the U.S. team, so it only makes sense he rounds out his competition slate with multiple events. Kenworthy, like Logan, has “always done both” – halfpipe and slopestyle – when he was younger.
The Breckenridge, Colo., resident, who, based on his podium finishes has mastered slope and pipe, even added a third event - big air. Kenworthy showed he had the true grit when he competed in the inaugural Big Air competition at the 2012 Dew Tour, placing second. Big air, says Kenworthy, is becoming his favorite of the three, now making him a triple threat on the mountain. Unfortunately, Big Air is not an event at the Winter Olympics.
Logan and Kenworthy have formed a special bond during their time training for the pipe and slope. They talk to each other about their training plans and how many hours they’ll spend on the course and the pipe. They feel the collaboration helps one another.
As a two-sport freeskier, the Olympic selection events are a primer for athletes to compete in 10 events. The world of freeskiing is blessed with competitors who want to ride and show their true love and passion for their sport. Pulling double duty in Sochi will be taxing for the riders, but thrilling for the fans.
Embedded owg_slideshow: Model Olympian: Gus Kenworthy
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