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A Season Delayed: Early Cancellations Have Made for a Late Start to the Freeski and Snowboard World Cup Season

By Gabby Tachis
February, 15 2021
Toby Miller
Toby Miller at the 2019 Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Snowboard Qualifiers (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Sarah Brunson)

The 2020-21 Freeski and Snowboard season has faced many delays, with most athletes just recently getting back into competition for the first time in nearly a year. U.S. Snowboard Halfpipe Pro Team athlete, Toby Miller, usually trains on snow year-round. After an early end to the 2019-20 season, Miller was unable to train on snow between March and July of 2020.

“It was very difficult not being on snow, but it taught me a lot about the work I can put into my snowboarding off of the mountain,” said Miller. “I was able to kick up my offseason training by working out at the gym, learning about nutrition, and taking on new hobbies like road biking. I now feel that I am the strongest I have ever been.”

Miller admits to missing the competitive aspect to snowboarding, confessing that he has been making small household chores into a competition. He stated, “I have found myself creating little battles with myself, whether it is cooking, or cleaning the house, the competitive drive is always there.”

U.S. Freeski Slopestyle Pro Team athlete, Maggie Voisin had a bit of a different offseason recovering from her second ACL surgery in just two years. Voisin completed most of her recovery in her hometown of Whitefish, Montana, spending time with family and in the outdoors backcountry skiing, hiking, and camping. Throughout her recovery, Voisin focused on becoming stronger physically, but also mentally. She referenced the last year as a “mental reset,” taking the time to slow down, learn about herself, and appreciate the small victories.

Voisin shared valuable advice on how to stay positive during the pandemic, “Everything in life is perspective. Our brain is so powerful. If we focus on the more positive things, more positive things will come into your life.” She claimed that these tough moments make her stronger, and she is extremely eager to get back to competition in 2021. 

Although multiple competitions were either postponed or cancelled this season, the U.S Freeski and Snowboard teams only had to cancel one training camp prior to the season. This was largely due to the tireless efforts from the Official U.S. Ski and Snowboard Training Sites of Timberline Resort, Copper Mountain, Mammoth Mountain, Utah Olympic Park, and Woodward Park City. 

U.S. Freeski and Snowboard Head Coach, Mike Jankowski weighed in, “The time away from the team was tough last year, but it sparked a heightened sense of gratitude among athletes. They have all taken this time to capitalize on every opportunity possible and are coming into this season hungrier than ever.”

There are four more events on the calendar for the U.S. Freeski and Snowboard teams. Domestically, the Aspen 2021 FIS Snowboard and Freeski World Championships at Buttermilk in Aspen, Colo. are set for March 10-16, followed by the Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix March 18-21. The final freeski and snowboard World Cups of the season are set to take place March 25-27, with the freeskiers heading to Corvatsch, Switzerland and snowboarders to Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic.                                          



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