first met Michelle in Carbondale, CO, at the Olenick residence, a few days before the X Games. With bursts of rapidly spoken words and laughter, Michelle seemed to be a whirlwind of sincerity, friendliness and non-stop energy. Hanging around Michelle is like being with an old friend. One who talks fast. Very fast. The only thing paralleling her rate of speech is her career. Obtaining star status in the world of women’s freeskiing, Michelle is comfortable rubbing shoulders with the best, on and off piste. Stylish and athletic, she is making her mark on the sport. But it’s her affection and personality that will make a lasting mark on you.
Currently rehabbing an injury, Michelle is more than happy to answer a few questions to fill everyone in on everything Parker these days.
FS: First of all, how is the knee doing?
MP: I had surgery last week and everything went smoothly. So now I am just hanging out in Tahoe relaxing.
FS: What is your recovery process going to be like?
MP: My doctor sad I could go back on snow in about 4 months, taking it easy, obviously. I am going to work hard on getting the knee rehabbed so I can come back stronger. Oh, and Tyler Hamlet [from Poorboyz] bought me a remote control helicopter that I have been messing around with.
FS: What are you doing with your downtime?
MP: I hooked up with Netflix, been watching a ton of movies. I couldn’t really concentrate for a while, so movies have been pretty good. I’ll probably do some traveling a bit later when my knee can take it. And a bunch of reading!
FS: Any literary recommendations for us?
MP: Right now I’m reading A Long Way Gone. It’s actually kind of depressing. It’s about Sierra Leone, the R.U.F. and children soldiers. Basically, it’s the movie Blood Diamond, but real life.
FS: Where are you headed on your travels?
MP: I’m not entirely sure yet. I have a lot of places on my list right now. Italy, maybe Brazil. With some some friends. Brazil would be a girls trip, and I’m not sure about Italy. It’s nice to have a little vacation, I think getting injured gives you a different perspective and makes me realize how much I love doing what I do.
FS: Are people going to recognize you when you have a tan from all of your Brazilian travels?
MP: Yeah, no kidding, right? Probably, since I think I will be traveling to colder hemispheres; so it shouldn’t be too bad.
FS: What is the most common misconception about you?
MP: I don’t know, that’s a tough one. What do you think? I definitely used to be super shy in my earlier years, you know, super quiet. It took me a while to break out of my shell, and that can still take a little bit with new people. So people at first glance think I’m really quiet.
FS: Your middle name, Chiara Chanturai, is pretty unique, where did that come from?
MP: It’s pronounced She-ar-ah Sh-on-ter-ray. It was my grandmother’s name on my dad’s side. I don’t know if it’s Georgian or French or whatever, but I like it.
FS: You had a decent season this year?
MP: Yeah, I had a fun one. Skied powder all November and December. Then after the US Open I got hurt for about three weeks, then went and skied powder in Retallack, BC for a month. My injuries put me out here and there, but it was still a fun year.
FS: I heard a rumor that you are done competing for good. Care to shed some light on this?
MP: Ha, that’s funny. I wouldn’t go as far to say that I am done competing. Competing can be fun for sure.