Part Athlete, Part Genius: The Alex Schlopy Profile
The Alex Schlopy Profile
This article originally appeared in the November 2010 issue of Freeskier Magazine. For more from this issue make sure to pick up a copy at your local newsstand.
Words: Shay Williams, Photos: Nate Abbott
For Alex Schlopy, last season was nothing short of meteoric. A star-making year saw young Schlopy ponying for drop-in order at Euro X Games, filming with JOSS teammates Simon Dumont and Tom Wallisch, as well as a number of top 10 finishes, including his win at the Dumont Cup. Born to an Olympic-caliber ski racing mother, itâ€™s now Alexâ€™s turn to step into the limelight. While the future shape of slopestyle is up for debate, itâ€™s clear that Schlopyâ€™s future is looking bright.
Hometown: Park City, UT
Sponsors: Oakley, Nordica
Results:1st, 2010 Dumont Cup Slopestyle, Sunday River, ME
1st, 2010 Kick Aspen Big Air, Aspen/Snowmass, CO
5th, 2010 Dew Tour Slopestyle, Mt. Snow, VT
6th, 2010 NZ Open Slopestyle, Cardrona, NZ
8th, 2010 European X Games Slopestyle, Tignes, France
Despite your track record with the ladies, I hear youâ€™re actually a nerd and you love math.
Ever since elementary school, math has been my best subject. I used to do this math olympiads program.
Youâ€™re a mathlete?
I guess. For some reason numbers always made sense to me. Itâ€™s weird.
Like Good Will Hunting?
Yeah, I love that movie. I actually got a 99 on my finance final.
Your mother was a very successful racer [ed. note Holly Flanders: Olympian, World Cup Winner, twice US Downhill Champ]. Can you attribute some of your skills to your genes?
Oh yeah. She got me on skis when I was 2. I guess the whole natural ability thing is true. Iâ€™m not that good at racing though. I tried it out and it was not for me.
Did you like the spandex though?
[laughs] Yeah. Funny story about racing is one of my friends who is a pro boardercrosser was on skis for his second or third run and beat me down a race course. I donâ€™t like to admit that, it was pretty pathetic. But I didnâ€™t have any edges because I was on slope skis. Thatâ€™s my argument.
So howâ€™d you get your start in freeskiing?
Growing up I didnâ€™t like skiing that much. In about sixth grade I became good friends with Joss Christensen. One day he invited me over and we built a teeny jump in his backyard. He was throwing mistys and stuff and thatâ€™s when I learned 360s and stuff. Thatâ€™s what kicked it off. That season we skied pretty much every day and it kind of built off of that.
From humble beginnings to traveling to France, Sweden, NZ. Is that crazy to you?
Itâ€™s beyond crazy. I didnâ€™t really expect it to happen the way it did. Iâ€™d go to events and try to do my best, but I didnâ€™t see it playing out the way it did with one good result leading to another opportunity. Itâ€™s really cool to go out there and hang with all the people Iâ€™d watch in the movies.
What have you got up your sleeve this year?
Iâ€™ve always been kind of an observer so in NZ this year I observed how Russ Henshaw and Bobby Brownâ€™s minds worked. They are working on crazy new tricks, so after checking that out, Iâ€™m going to try and stay up with the pack and be one of the contenders at every event. And I want to compete a ton because I honestly have the most fun when Iâ€™m competing.
Are you going to jump on the triple flip train?
I think that triples are super sick for filming, but I donâ€™t see it brought to slopestyle this year. Itâ€™d be too hard to fit a jump that size in a slopestyle course. But Iâ€™m definitely going work on both way double variations.