Posted by Josh on February 15th, 2012
Holy Dyna! The start of 2012 has been a blitzkrieg of awesomeness . . .
By now though you’ve probably heard the great news — you know, I’ve had this dream since I was first laid up in the hospital nearly eight years ago to do a backflip in my sit ski. With countless hours of training and preparation and with help from a group of good friends (professional skiers) who prepped the jump site for me, I was able to realize my dream on February 3rd — I nailed a backflip at Whistler!
The process to bring the flip to snow began awhile back in the foam pits at Woodward at Copper Mountain. I met up with Nick Bass — who’s a very accomplished aerialist and jumping coach — and it was then we both knew it could be done.
The next stop was the terrain park at Blackcomb to practice this trick into an airbag. Our practice and preparation paid off huge. We figured out the best jump shape, speed, and all the other details we thought were important. I really wanted to take this into the backcountry and try it on snow right away, but Mother Nature did not allow. Conditions were snowy, windy, and foggy, which made it too dangerous to try. We had to put the project on hold.
Next, it was off to the X Games down in Aspen. This trip is probably my favourite competition all winter. I love being right in the mix with all the other sports and athletes — watching everyone throw down is so inspirational and gets me super charged up.
They toned down the Skier Cross course this year to make sure everyone was going to be able to go fast and put on a good show for TV — and that’s exactly what happened. It was probably the best finals heat our sport has ever showcased. I’m so happy for my good friend Samson who took home the gold . . . and for me, a bronze finish is a mighty fine accomplishment.
Huge air in the Mono Skier X Final. That’s me at the top right.
Another highlight was getting to attend the Powder Video Awards. I’d just found out before heading to the party that “Freedom Chair” had been nominated for best documentary. We gave it no chance of winning considering the other films we were up against. Imagine our surprise when they announced our film . . . we were completely stunned.
Lacey and me at the PVA award ceremony.
Then it was back home to catch up on some routine business. I was home for less than 48 hours when the crew from Switchback Entertainment called and said the weather in Whistler was going to be sunny, and that Powder Mountain Catskiing was willing to build me a perfect jump to attempt the backflip.
I knew it was the right time and place to overcome my fear and do something awesome. Coming down the approach I felt a sense of calm and confidence. I’ll let the video tell the rest of the story . . .
All of the elements were in place. It took a lot of training and preparation to get to this moment.
Nailing the back flip was such a great feeling — total freedom!
The response to the video has been insane. It’s all good — for the sport and for anyone desiring to overcome challenges and obstacles in their life. This could also open up a new avenue for the sport, which would be great.
In racing . . . my 2012 season began with a quick trip to Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, for the U.S. Para-Alpine Championships. I had a chance to test myself against the best riders in North America and it went pretty well — in four races I earned four silver medals. There was pretty much a new winner every day, which was nice to see. For me, I kept making little mistakes, which kept me in the hunt but out of the top spot. It left me hungry for the next set of races in mid-February.
Showing off the results of all our hard work – members of the Canadian Para-alpine Ski Team racked up 12 podiums at Waterville.
I’m off to LA to have a little chat with Ellen. The episode with my segment airs Wednesday, February 15. Then I’m straight back into racing on Thursday at my old stomping grounds in Kimberley B.C. Here’s some footage from last year’s race.
Enjoy the moments in life and see y’all back here soon. Thanks for reading…