Swedish playboy Jon Olsson continues race comeback in quest of 2014 Olympic bid

Posted By: The Ski Channel on December 4, 2009 5:01 pm

Nearly everyone knows Jon Olsson the park skier, race-car driver, Jon Olsson Super Session host, businessman, and overall chick-magnet. However, only a small number of those same people know Jon Olsson, the alpine ski racer.

Before Jon got lured away by his love for jumping in the park, he was on pace to become quite the accomplished ski racer for the Swedish National Team. As history wrote it, Jon ultimately opted for a life of traveling, sponsorship budgets, Red Bull shipments, lavish living, and a whole lot of park skiing. 

But then, after becoming one of the most successful and revered athletes in freestyle skiing, something changed. Jon began to question the direction of his skiing once fellow superstars Tanner Hall and Simon Dumont went down with near catastrophic injuries.

We all know Jon would eventually shrug off this fear of injury, and would go on to learn the infamous ‘kangaroo’ flip (a double flat-spin 900) while water-ramping in Australia. But even after unleashing the kangaroo flip and a flurry of other new double flips, Jon’s insatiable thirst for competition wasn’t satisfied. Other freestyle skiers had learned his double flips, and in some cases upped the degree of difficulty with their execution, utilizing various new grabs and variations

It would be an encounter with an old Swedish National Teammate and friend that would ultimately steer Jon’s life in a completely different skiing direction. Jens Byggmark, current Swedish National Team skier, claimed Jon couldn’t make the Swedish 2014 Olympic team and subsequently agreed to bet on the feat – to the tune of 50,000 kronor (about $6,000). 

Never one to turn down a good bet, Jon accepted and his comeback mission has been firing on all cylinders ever since. While still competing in a few freestyle ski contests (and risking a great deal of injury), he has been training full-time in hopes of proving Byggmark wrong. Apparently, Jon’s fast-living lifestyle prepares him for some equally fast skiing.

During the summer, in his first FIS-sanctioned races with World Cup athletes, Jon finished as high as 3rd place in Giant Slalom. In fact, he did so well, he wound up beating all but one member of the Swedish national team. Thankfully for Jon, he doesn’t have to look far to find some of his best potential coaching solutions.

Hans Olsson, Jon’s brother, is an accomplished World Cup skier in his own right. In fact, he posted the 5th fastest training time in last weekend’s Lake Louise-held World Cup Downhill event. While he didn’t do as well as he hoped on ‘Birds of Prey’ today at Beaver Creek, there’s still plenty left in Han’s racing tank.

The real question is just how big is that tank for the other Olsson?

A good indication might come next month when Jon will compete at Winter X-Games in Aspen, and head straight to more Nor-Am contests in Alberta the next week. Stay tuned.

Check out this interview of Jon talking about his comeback: