Shhhhhhhh… Woosh! Then four seconds of silence that might as well have lasted an eternity before plummeting back to earth… The jump has been hit.
With the riders properly introduced to Åre’s nightlife last night, today was a fight to make the most of the sunny weather. Having said that, it didn’t take much to fall back in love with the mountain.
After a full day of skiing Åre’s terrain park, the elite cast of the best skiers in the world eyed up the monster that is the iconic JOI jump in anticipation of the practice to come. A handful of powernaps later and the riders were primed and ready, approaching the venue with the confident swagger you would expect from the most accomplished skiers in the sport. It was an air of confidence that masked almost certain nervousness…
The jump is beautiful. 24 meters from the lip to the landing, the jump has enough of a landing to send it much further. The transitions are flawless, exactly what you would expect from Jon Olsson. Once the skis were on, there was no messing around. The riders ascended the in-run, necks turned toward the beast below.
Aleksander Aurdal was up first and with no pussyfooting he charged straight for the takeoff sending the jump perfectly. The rest followed, challenging their uncertainties with a mix of results. Some sent it perfectly, some fell short and some turned away deterred by gusts of wind. Eventually, they all braved the wind and claimed a successful first hit on the jump.
The second run saw tricks, including a massive crowd-pleasing backflip from Christof Schenk, followed by a double backflip on his next run. Aurdal claimed the first double cork and Robby Franco followed suit with three of his own. The rest of the riders had an assortment of 360s and other relatively tame tricks, just a tease of the week to come. With hands clasped firmly together, we pray for consistent weather with just a bit less wind than we saw today.
It wasn’t much, but it was a start… a start to what promises to be a week no one who witnesses it will forget.
A small army of the most talented skiers in the world enters Åre, Sweden upon the deep growl of a fleet of Audis and a helicopter. So begins the Jon Olsson Invitational! Stepping out of an RS6, RS7 and an […]
“Woooo!!!” screams the media half way up the slope. Claps and woots encourage the riders as they ascend the in-run under the venue lights. Nerves take the backseat to a mix of enthusiasm and anxiety. With the confidence gained at […]