Things I’ve Learned: Torin Yater-Wallace
Torin Yater-Wallace, 15, X Games medalist, Euro X medalist, High Schooler, Basalt, CO
I never would have believed that my season would go this well if someone told me it was going to last year.
The shoulder is good, I’ve been going to physical therapy three times a week and I should be fully recovered by the first week of June. I cant wait to be able to ski again!
Chinese food. After its been sitting in the fridge it still tastes good. I don’t have to go through a lot of work to make food when I’m at sitting home and hungry, I can just throw some leftovers in the microwave.
I have learned tons of thing from the greats of freeskiing that I’ve met this year.
The most important thing I've learned is be early to the airport because I had some bad luck traveling this year.
Standing on the podium that night was insane. I’ve never felt anything like it. All that was going through my head was I didn’t think I would see this moment for like five more years.
I think the advantage for me having the X Games at my home mountain is that I could go out to compete and just think of it as just another day at my home pipe having fun. At the X-Games you feel more pressure than any other competition, so being able to think of it as just another day skiing really calmed my nerves down.
In Tignes, looking down at the crowd from the podium was a really cool experience because everybody in France has such a passion for skiing. Just knowing that our sport was so appreciated was awesome!
[After winning] you know, go to dinner or to my girlfriend's house and go out to the dance clubs where everyone is drunk except for me and Jackson Wells.
I definitely eat/sleep/breath/dream skiing.
But summer time is sick, too. After a long winter of your body taking a beating sometimes you just want to chill out and skate or hangout with friends.
I’m not the little rubber ball that I used to be and falling hard really hurts.
Torin en route to a bronze medal at Winter X Games Europe 2011.
[On extravagance] Well, I bought an iPhone because prior to that I was on a pay-as-you-go Walmart plan.
It [crossed] my mind that I have expectations for next year because this year went so well, But when you look at the big picture, it's my second year competing with all the big pros and I’ve already got an X-Games medal which a lot of guys don’t have. So I need to just appreciate everything I have and have fun!
Being the young gun and not knowing a lot of the pros for a while, you don’t want to do anything embarrassing or screw something up. It's like if you met a superstar and you don’t want to freak out around them and be too wild, you want to play it off cool.
My classmates think its really cool how well I’ve done this year they support me and are stoked!
But some of them who I had never said a word to starting trying to talk to me a lot and I didn’t really know what to say to them…
Well, there are tons of ladies out there, but I’ve got a girlfriend named Rhyan that I’ve successfully kept for almost two years.
Do you work for UPS? I could have sworn I saw you checking out my package.
[Triple flips are] gnarly. Everybody who has done a triple flip I give a big round of applause because that’s definitely not easy. I think if they start to appear in more competitions they should just be in big air.
In my opinion I think you need to know how to actually ski. A lot of kids these days are just automatically going out and skiing park, but that’s not the key. It's learning the basics. I skied moguls for five or six years and did a little ski racing when I was younger and without that I would never be at the level of competition I am at now.
To me pipe skiing is a lot scarier [than slopestyle]. [laughs] Because there's this huge deck you could land on every hit.
I think that when the latest and greatest happen, they do deserve some media. But the media shouldn’t forget about other things that happened the month before. Just balance the coverage.
Tater tots are damn good.
From the moment I did my first 540 when I was 7 years old I immediately thought to myself, 'I want to be the best and go pro!'
Before I drop in for a comp run I just stand there with the butterflies in my stomach waiting for that moment when the starter says drop.
Dropping into my X Games finals run I was more nervous than I’ve ever been in my whole life, looking down at all the fans on the sides of the pipe that you're about to soar over and all the fans that will be cheering at the bottom makes you scared. In the end I just had to turn my music up so the cheers wouldn’t make me any more nervous and get in the zone to drop.
I plan on going to college. Somehow I’m going to do it.
I have some T-Swift songs on my iPod.
[This] took quite a long time but most of it was during class so I liked doing this more than math.
Torin's silver medal run at Winter X Games 15 in Aspen/Snowmass, CO.
About the author:
Shay Williams is the Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He loves cheeseburgers, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Sweden. He's likely on a plane right now—first class only.