Maggie Voisin wants you to witness the progression in women’s freeskiing
Maggie Voisin already owned a medal of each color from the X Games before traveling to this year’s competition in Aspen. Now she’s doubling up.
On Friday she took bronze in slopestyle, accompanying the gold she earned last season in Aspen in the same event, the big air silver she won in X Games Aspen 2014 and the bronze she collected in big air in X Games Norway in 2017.
She said the experience of winning an X Games medal has not dulled over time. In fact, each year they get more precious as the competitive level rises in women’s freeskiing.
“It’s such an honor to get any X Games medal and to get on the podium,” she said. “It was incredible, especially with where female skiing is right now, it’s at a whole other level and any of those girls out there could have been on the podium.”
She’s not just being humble. She’s talking about how far the sport has come.
Voisin is 20, but she’s been competing at the elite level since she was 14. She said everything started to shift after the Sochi Olympics — from axis of rotation to degree to the amplitude of spins and flips.
She said the level of skiing was high at the 2014 Winter Games, but it has since taken off.
“It was unreal how much is was changing,” she said.
The jumps got bigger, the grabs more technical, and unnatural spins (originating from the skier’s non-dominant side) became a must for competitive success.
“Doubles have become the new thing,” Voisin said. “I learned my first double, the double cork 1260, back in October. Then also the rail tricks — the whole level of girls riding has really stepped up in all aspects in rails and jumps.”
To put that in perspective, when Kaya Turski won the gold in the women’s freeski slopestyle at the 2014 X Games, the biggest move she threw was a switch cork 720. She probably could have thrown something larger, but that was the trick she had dialed to the point where judges would score it well. Voisin herself performed a switch 1080.
This year, the winning run in slopestyle by Estonian Kelly Sildaru included a cork 900 tail grab, followed by two switch 1080 mute grabs.
Voisin said the field broadened after Sochi, and the competitors are pushing each other further and further each season.
Which is one of the reasons Voisin is excited for the FIS World Championships, which will take place in Park City and Solitude starting Friday. It will be a huge stage, and the sport’s progression will be display for thousands of spectators.
Park City is also Voisin’s home away from home, where she and a handful of teammates live in the winter.
“I think it will be a pivotal moment,” she said of the current era in women’s freeskiing. “Just because this is the time when everything is changing, and women’s skiing is going big.”
At press time, the U.S. World Championship freeski team had not been announced, though Voisin was in the running for the slopestyle team. If she is selected, spectators will be able to see Voisin and her fellow competitors on Feb. 6, when the finals will be held on Park City Mountain Resort’s Pick N’ Shovel run.
“I’m excited to represent USA and Park City, and show people how much fun freeskiing is,” Voisin said.
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Dave Hanscom announced last month he was retiring as volunteer race director of the Wasatch Citizens Series after 30 years in the position.