If I were to list Mike Riddle's career competition results, you'd have to scroll down for 10 minutes before you reached the interview. To single one out, I choose 2011 FIS World Superpipe Champion; yes, that has a particularly nice ring to it.
The Alberta native has certainly made his mark on the world of freeskiing, and he's got no plan to let up anytime soon. In fact, you can count on Riddle to be in the mix of medal contenders at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Recently named to the Canadian National Halfpipe Ski Team, it's an exciting time for both Riddle and for the sport. We checked in with him this week to pick his brains:
It's a three-way. Thumbs up to that.
FS: Where are you from? Where do you currently reside?
MR: I grew up in Sherwood Park, Alberta and I am currently residing in Vancouver, BC.
How long have you been skiing?
I have been skiing since I was 2 years old and competing in freestyle since I was 13. I've been competing professionally since I was 19, and I'm 24 now, so it's been 6 years following the circuit.
Who are your current sponsors?
The North Face, Rockstar Energy, Atomic, Giro, Skullcandy, Booster Strap, Swix and Voleurz.
What are the top 5 things you've done so far in 2011?
FIS World Champion, became a member of the first official Canadian Halfpipe Team, ate raw horse meat in Niseko, Japan, got to shoot with a Phantom Camera at Baldface Lodge, BC, and it's 1000 frames per second, totally crazy, and went indoor skydiving in Ogden UT.
Since you brought up the Canadian National Halfpipe Ski Team, let's discuss further. First off, congratulations. Secondly, what does this mean for you moving forward?
Thanks! It means that we can now enjoy all the benefits of being a supported National team. We will have two coaches traveling with us as well as access to physios, doctors, and training facilities all with the intent of helping us be the best athletes we can be. I'm super excited to get to be associated with everyone on the team as well as everyone supporting from behind the scenes.
You've essentially been traveling for the last couple years with the "unofficial Team Canada." How does it feel now that it's official?
It definitely feels like all the work we've been putting in over the years has finally paid off. As a team we have supported FIS events dating back to before the 2005 World Champs in Ruka, Finland, all the while with the dream of one day going to the Olympics. So to say we are stoked is a huge understatement.
Riddle on his way to a 4th place finish at the 2011 Park City World Cup. p: @Shay_Will
Let's say there's an 11-year-old kid out there name Jimmy. Jimmy really wants to compete in halfpipe in the Olympics one day. Do you have any words of wisdom to offer young Jimmy?
Well if that's what "Jimmy" wants then he should do everything in his power to go. If I've learned anything in my career it's that if you work hard, anything is possible.
Plans for the off-season?
I am hanging in Vancouver, going to the gym, and golfing for the next couple weeks. Then come mid-June, I am off to Toronto for a trampoline camp with Team Canada before I spend a month up in Whistler coaching at Momentum Camps. Then some more summer sports at the lake, another camp in Mt. Hood, and then the season starts back up. Can't wait… I love the summer.
What will the gold medal halfpipe run be in Sochi?
To be honest I have no idea. With the way everything has progressed over the last couple years it's almost impossible to predict. I'm sure it borders on what we currently think is possible.
Who's going to win the Stanley Cup Finals, Vancouver Canucks or Boston Bruins?
Vancouver Canucks. No doubt in my mind.
What are three noteworthy things that our readers might not know about you?
I am an amazing chef on the BBQ. Maybe I should look into some cooking classes and try out for Iron Chef. And even though I am currently a bandwagon jumper for the Canucks, my true love is and will always be the Edmonton Oilers. Also, I love golfing. May not be the best at it, but it's awesome.
Any shout outs?