Winter X Games 15 ski slopestyle bronze medalist Andreas Håtveit discusses progression, the Olympics, and McDonald’s
How does this slopestyle competition factor into the progression of freeskiing?
Gnarly. The progression of today’s contest compared to anything else was ridiculous. The last Dew Tour [at Killington the weekend before] was pretty crazy, but this contest was just, yeah, insane. Insane.
Especially with unnatural—rightside spinning—double corks.
Yeah. I’ve actually known how to do those for about three years, but I’ve been too scared to really try them. But I kind of feel bad about that now ‘cause they’re not really that hard. So I could’ve done a lot better a lot more times [laughs]. But yeah you definitely need some rightside doubles to hang in there, which is cool, I think, because it’s more technical. Instead of just spinning faster it’s more about style and about spinning every direction.
How was the course today?
We got to ride late in the afternoon which is just really bad because it’s sunny on the kickers, dark in the landings, you couldn’t see anything, and you have no idea how big you’re going until you land, which just makes it a lot harder. So for the level to be higher in the finals than in qualifiers was actually surprising because it was so much harder to ride. Last run I think I was pretty much all the way down the landings the whole run because it got shady a lot faster and everybody overshot. Definitely makes it harder but the course was the best course that’s ever been in a slopestyle competition for sure.
What do you think we’ll see next year at X Games slopestyle?
I’m scared to think about it, but Sammy [Carlson, the gold medalist] was thinking about triples even today, so it’s going to be insane. I don’t even know. I just want to train a lot and get more steezy and try and keep the style aspect of it in there, but yeah, it’s going to be nuts.
Plans for rest of the year?
Going home in a couple of days. Rest up a bit. Try and train a lot so I can keep up with these gnarly kids and compete a bit more. The European X Games, JOI [the Jon Olsson Invitational], I’ve got my own competition Backyard Battles, so yeah!
Now this is a long way off, but if slopestyle gets in the Olympics, what would it mean to represent Norway?
That’s be cool for sure. I even heard they had free McDonald’s at the Olympics, so I’ll be pumped.
Nick Cunkelman is a senior at Colby College in Waterville, ME who grew up skiing at Vermont’s Mad River Glen, a mere three-hour drive from his home in Acton, MA. His writing has appeared in The Colby Echo, The Jackson Hole News and Guide, and The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. For more photos, go to sport-write-shoot.tumblr.com.