Joss Christensen preps for post-Olympic winter
December 2, 2014
Expect to see a lot more of Olympic gold medalist Joss Christensen in Park City this winter.
After winning the first-ever slopestyle skiing Olympic gold medal in Sochi last winter, Christensen’s offseason was a whirlwind of traveling and activity.
Now, in a post-Olympic season, Christensen hopes to do more non-competitive skiing and hang around his hometown a little bit more.
"I’m going to be home more than I have been in the last six or seven years — my plan is to stick around Park City as much as possible," he said. "I bought a snowmobile, so I’d like to use that some. I’ll also ski as much as I can at [Park City Mountain Resort]. I hate when it looks fun and everyone is having a good time and I’m not there."
But, for those who want to see what Christensen will do next in terms of big competition tricks, don’t worry — he still plans to do a fair amount of events this season. He’s just looking forward to a more-relaxed schedule now that Olympic qualifying doesn’t require packing in as many competitions as possible.
"I think it’ll be a lot more mellow this year," he said. "Last year, we had six competitions by X Games [at the end of January]. This year, we’ll have six competitions by the end of April."
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Christensen is in Colorado right now, skiing and preparing for the Dew Tour to start. He said he’s enjoying being back on snow after taking most of the summer off.
"I’m really excited to get back into everything and push myself to get motivated again," he said. "It’ll be cool to see everyone again. Even like Nick [Goepper] and Gus [Kenworthy], we didn’t ski too much this summer. It’s great to be skiing and relaxing right now and trying to get back in the zone."
This year, Christensen will have people gunning to beat him at every competition. Though he wants to defend his Olympic gold medal and prove that he’s still the best, he said not putting too much pressure on himself will be critical to maintaining a high level of success.
"I kind of have everyone on my tail now," he said. "I put a target on myself this season, but, in my head, I kind of have to keep proving myself. I want to do well, but I don’t want to over-ski and I don’t want to take it too seriously."
After Sochi, he learned that he’s capable of more than he ever thought possible. Now, he said, he wants to see if he can keep surprising himself.
"The biggest thing I learned [at the Olympics] was that I can surprise myself quite a bit," he said. "In the end [of qualifications], I figured I’d probably be fighting for the fourth spot [on the U.S. team] and that’s what happened. I kind of got in a weird zone and did what I wanted to do. I’m just going to try to be more confident in myself this year."
Though Christensen is looking forward to a more-relaxed competition schedule, he still has some big goals.
"I want to hopefully podium at Dew Tour and X Games," he said. "I really want to do well at X Games since the best I’ve ever done there is sixth place."
With a little bit more time between competitions this year, Christensen hopes to turn in some unique and big runs on the slopestyle course. But, he added, the time off will allow him to pursue some other interests.
"Having so much time between contests this year will be huge for me," he said. "I’m going to try to do more filming and more skiing with my friends. That’s when I have the best time — skiing with my friends or maybe night skiing."
Christensen’s first break this season will come after the Dew Tour Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado, Dec. 11-14. He said he’s really looking forward to competing in such a big contest so early in the year.
"It’s our first big competition and it’s going to be sweet," he said. "There’s 30 [slopestyle] athletes at Dew Tour, compared to only 16 at X Games. Everyone across the world has gotten so good, so it’s going to be a lot of fun."
The Dew Tour Mountain Championships will be televised Dec. 13-14 on NBC and NBC Sports Network.
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