When the world’s top freeskiers hit the slopes for the first-ever Olympic Slopestyle competition in February, Colorado native Bobby Brown will be there representing the stars and stripes.
He’s stoked to compete in front of the world, relishing the new opportunity that was afforded freeskiers like him when the IOC announced slopestyle was added to the Olympics on July 4, 2011.
Brown is no stranger to competition, having won six X-Games medals in his three year career and was the first skier to win two gold medals in a single X-Games.
For those unfamiliar, slopestyle skiing competition takes place in a terrain park of constructed jumps, rails and features upon which athletes perform tricks, which are then judged for a score.
So in a relatively short time, teams from around the world scrambled to put together rosters and train athletes, many of whom never imagined that their sport would one day play on the Olympic stage.
We spoke with the 22 year-old Brown to learn a little about his short run up to the Olympics. —Sean McCoy
GearJunkie — When you were a kid, did you ever imagine you’d be doing this for a living?
Bobby Brown — No, it was more just a fun thing. It was never trying to win anything. I was just going out with my little brother, go skiing and, honestly, have fun and that’s what I love to do. It’s my pastime and passion and it just turned into something else.
You’ve had a lot of success in the X Games and other similar competitions. How is winning an Olympic medal different to you?
Winning an Olympic medal would be unreal. That’s something that would be really special. You only get to do it every four years and have to be at the peak of your sport, ready to go. I think it’s perfect for me I fell really strong and have gone through the parameters to help me know how to handle the pressure. I feel pretty confidant for sure.
You had two broken ankles last year. How did you recover from that? What did you do to get back to top performance?
First day of skiing was yesterday in seven months so it’s been kind of tough. I haven’t been skiing in a bit but I’m feeling really good, been in the gym, drilling the trampoline and doing a lot of therapy. That’s kind of how it’s been for the last year and a half for me.
This is the first time that Slopeside is in the Olympics. Did you ever imagine that, while you were learning the sport and to compete, that you would one day have a chance to compete on this stage?
No, I just remember watching Johnny Mosley back in the day and I thought it was pretty cool but I always thought the X Games was the end and that was it. Now that it’s turned into something more it’s a pretty unique and amazing opportunity.
What sets your training apart from others?
I’m less in the gym, more riding my bike and more doing a bunch of other things. Sure, I’m lifting heavy weights, but I’m also keeping it moving and fast and having fun.
Any favorite piece of gear?
The ghost shell with the infrared technology. That’s the jacket I wore all year. I helped design the look of the entire jacket. It’s dark with the poppy arms. It’s just amazing. One of my favorite pieces I’ve ever worn in my life.
Non gear you travel with?
No, not really, just got to make sure I’ve got my phone loaded with a bunch of music.
Not really, you just go out and hope you’ve prepared hard enough and do it.
What is in your normal kit on competition day?
Salomon Suspect skis, Salomon boots, Skull Candy headphones, Smith goggles, maybe a GoPro for training runs. That’s about it.