In a slopestyle run Judges love to see you spinning in all different directions (left, right, switch left and right). After landing several left-side double cork 1080s in training, I wanted to link this with my right-side double corks for my run, a trick I haven’t done in over a year. After several runs getting mind ready, I sent it. I came up short on the jump, under-rotating the spin and landing flat on my side on the knuckle. I also hit my head pretty hard in the process. Luckily, I wasn’t knocked out and skied to the second knuckle where my friend was standing. We went back up the lift to talk to my coach. On the lift up I felt very strange and talking to my coach at the top I realised I had a gap in my memory from just before the crash. With a suspected concussion and only two days before the Europa Cup started, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to compete.
I took a day off the next day to rest and the following day I went up the mountain and did some light skiing, doing a few small rails and jumps to see how I felt. That evening I had a call with a Physio, we went through the SCAT test, a series of questions and exercises that help gauge whether an athlete is concussed. I felt fine and the Physio advised me that I wasn’t concussed and could compete without added risk. A big thank you to the team at Ski Exchange who sorted me out with an Oakley mod 1 mips snow helmet just before this trip, which saved me from a more serious injury. I then talked to my coach and we created a plan for the following day of competition.
On competition day all riders only had 1 hour on the course before qualification started. This meant we had to get used to the course and do all our tricks in about 5 runs. Practice went extremely well for me. On my second run of the day on the course I got redemption on the right double cork that I crashed hard on only a few days prior. I went into run 1 of 2 confident but I crashed again on the same trick. I had only one attempt left to put a run down. I did one of the best runs of my life, landing all my tricks! It’s an amazing feeling when everything goes right, I was buzzing for the rest of the day. It’s the reason why I love the sport so much and has made me hyped for more competitions to come.