Members of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team ventured to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave this afternoon where they enjoyed time on the South Lawn, “self-guided tours” of the White House, a meet & greet with President Obama and the First Lady, as well as a short speech from the POTUS himself. Shortly afterwards, we caught up with Joss Christensen on the phone, who had this to say about the big day…
They shuttled us all over in a bunch of big buses, we went right through security, it was pretty mellow. It was funny, though, we had to stand on these bleachers, there were dogs below you and they would smell the air coming off of you, in case you had drugs on you, so that was a bit wild.
We hung out on the South Lawn for about an hour. We didn’t see too much security. A few snipers on the roof which is pretty awesome. We just roamed around. Gus and Aaron took a pretty funny photo with the Washington Monument, with Aaron laying down on the lawn, with the Monument in the place of his junk. Two Secret Service guys noticed, and they came right over. They said it was super inappropriate and said that the photo can’t go anywhere on social media. They probably have to deal with that every now and again…
Then, they let us in, and we did a self tour. It was cool that we were able to roam around by ourselves. They had some people in the various rooms explaining the significance of each room, etc. We saw quite a few rooms. A few people were able to take a number two inside the White House bathrooms which I was jealous of.
It was cool, one room had all the chinaware, collected throughout history. The First Lady and the President pick a plate and a few pieces to be put in there, and there’s some stuff from every President, so that was awesome.
We had a sack lunch, people were on the floor sitting around, others laying down. That was the first time anyone had been sitting and laying on the White House floor they said. Pretty crazy.
After touring around and checking it all out, they lined us all up. Barack and Michelle were in this one room and we got funneled in. We got to first shake President Obama’s hand. Either he talked to you for a bit, or just said hi, and right after we got a hug from the First Lady. President Obama talked to Sage [Kotsenburg] for quite a bit. Obama said he had one of the most “chill” interviews he’d ever seen.
We weren’t allowed to take any cameras in there, but they’re mailing us all signed photos of us shaking Obama’s hand.
Obama mentioned to me that it was a bummer about the snow conditions over in Russia, he got the impression that things were pretty bad. I explained to him that we actually enjoy the softer, slushier snow. He had a weird look at first, but then seemed to get it.
It was pretty funny, Michelle Obama was really interested in Gus and his dog situation, she was stoked to meet him. Right after that we went to a press conference of sorts. Both Michelle and Barack gave a little speech, it was live on CNN. There were two cool things I thought that happened there.
President Obama gave as shout out to everyone who did well. He talked about Gus and his “bringing back more than just a medal.” He was really excited about the slopestyle sweep and the new sports, [ski slope and pipe], and he goes, “I don’t know what it means, but I really want to say it… ‘Back-to-back double cork 12s.’” He thought it was really cool.
It was a crazy experience. We all signed the Olympic flag and gave it to President Obama. It all happened pretty quick’. It was so cool to see the support from President Obama, and how stoked he was on the Winter Olympics. He spoke his true opinion on how stoked he was on all of us, and he gave us some words of advice:
“Just go for it,” he said. Words to live by. That was awesome to hear from him.
Christensen also recounted the general excitement level that was shared among the White House staff; he explained how all on site seemed genuinely excited about the U.S. Team’s presence. So, how’s that for a Thursday afternoon?
Side note: Christensen recently returned from Bosnia, where he was bitten by a stray dog. He estimates he’s had more than 40 shots since the incident. Mr. Nate Abbott was on location shooting photos; the images and accompanying story are set to appear in Volume 17 of Freeskier magazine.
April 3rd, 2014
Today, members of Team USA visited the White House and were fortunate enough to meet President Obama and the First Lady. Of course, as is the norm these days, the athletes took to social media to express their excitement at such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The athletes show off their selfie-taking skills, snag shots with the First Canine (the Obama’s dog), and, in one instance, do their best Zoolander poses on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. View some of the reactions below.
April 3rd, 2014
Earlier this week, Mel Dalebout, founder of ski boot company DaleBoot, passed away. Dalebout founded the company in 1969, and sold it to Rob Graham in 2007. Graham had this to say regarding Dalebout’s passing, and the contributions he’d made to the company:
“The impact Mel has had on the sport we all love so much as been both far reaching and dramatic. His drive, creativity, common sense approach and passion have been an inspiration to us at DaleBoot and will continue to live on within the fabric of our company. His contribution to our industry can be seen on the faces, and on the feet, of the countless satisfied DaleBoot riders, and more broadly, by the adaptation of many of his ideas and designs across the industry as a whole. He’ll be missed for sure, but his legacy will live on as we at DaleBoot continue to further develop and expand the DaleBoot brand.”
The ski industry certainly lost a good one.
Dalebout in March of 1986.
March 31st, 2014
Spring is here and with that comes longer days, warmer temperatures, and slushy springtime conditions. There also tends to be a lot more après popping off in the springtime. When you’re done with your day, be it 11:00 AM or 4:30 PM, the SNOCRU app can help you find friends nearby for a cocktail. Don’t have any friends? SNOCRU can help you out there, too. Simply check-in at a bar or restaurant, order a bloody mary and watch the friend requests flood your inbox.
SNOCRU is a free smartphone app that caters to anyone who enjoys getting after it and competing with friends on the hill; we have grown to love the app through various powder days and gear testing.
March 31st, 2014
This month, Freeskier joined forces with Red Bull, Copper Mountain, Woodward at Copper and Sol Republic to give one lucky entrant a VIP trip to the 2014 Red Bull Slope Soakers contest at Copper Mountain, along with a consulting gig for the 2015 Slope Soakers event.
Over 35 entries came in from across the United States, many of them quite worthy of consideration. But in the end, only one would claim the title; today, we’re excited to announce Will Hart of Austin, Texas has been selected as the winner.
While Will didn’t go so far as to utilize 3D animation, as some others did, it turns out good ol’ fashioned pen on paper does the trick, so long as the design is feasible. The “Skim Box,” as it’s called, certainly entertained the judges, all of which included Will’s entry in their top three design picks.
Here is Will’s entry, the “Skim Box:”
Will Hart’s “Skim Box” was a big hit with judges.
Will wrote, “1 = the ‘Skim Box’ (pond skim to up-box) 2 = Flat rail to down rail 3 = C-Box unique. Feasible. The idea is that skiers and riders will be able to send it pretty far off the box. I haven’t seen a pond skim to an up-box before, so I think this would be the first ever. It will work. Trust me.”
The Freeskier team will be hangin’ with Will on Saturday, April 13, amid the 2014 Slope Soakers. For those of you in Colorado (and those willing to make a road trip from elsewhere, too), this is one heck of a solid spring bash; join us.
March 27th, 2014
March 26th, 2014
This spring, Team Breckenridge Sports Club is hosting a private slopestyle training camp at Breckenridge from April 28 -May 2.
In terms of training, campers will train for six hours a day throughout the five day camp, from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Breck’s Park Lane will be closed to all other customers, and campers have the option of bringing their own coaching staff, or utilizing the help of Team Breckenridge Sports Club. The camp also includes evening guest lectures and guest coaches. Training fees total $1350.
The camp includes a lodging and food package which includes accommodations at the Double Tree Hotel, breakfast and dinner and adult chaperones provided by Team Breckenridge Sports Club, all for $500.
To register, click here, or call 970-368-2644.
March 26th, 2014
The late, great Sarah Burke was instrumental in the inclusion of the sport of freeskiing in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. In remembrance of the skiing star, the Canadian province of Ontario is renaming Highway 93, which flows through Simcoe County, where Burke was born and raised, to the Sarah Burke Memorial Highway.
“The Sarah Burke Memorial Highway will provide a lasting reminder of her accomplishments,” Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, said in a press release. “It will remind girls everywhere of the amazing possibilities that are open to them.”
For more information, click here.
March 26th, 2014
Olympic halfpipe silver medalist Mike Riddle has been busy since Sochi, going through the media circus and continuing to compete in halfpipe events across the globe. At the SFR Tour in Tignes, France, he took this nasty spill in the pipe, but thankfully didn’t sustain any major injuries.
March 24th, 2014
Level 1 has just unveiled the nine finalists for Superuknown XI. In addition to those nine, a “Wild Card” spot is still up for grabs, and Level 1 is holding an open vote to let its fans decide who will join the Superunknown fun this year. To vote, click here.