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Q&A: 10 questions with Nick Page
© U.S. Ski & Snowboard

We’re wrapping up our Q&A series with the final instalment before we kick off the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup season later this week in Ruka, and today we present you another good one with 2021 moguls “Rookie of the Year” - Nick Page (USA). Enjoy!

Q: Looking back at 2020/21 season, no doubt it was a very successful season for you. First World Cup podium, top-10 in the overall standing and some impressive results at World Championships in Almaty that led to the Rookie of the Year award. What does it all mean to you?

A: Last season was great. I made some nice steps in getting closer to where I want to be and I was excited with the progress when we finished in March. As I recount all the accolades that came from the 2020/21 season, it was nice to see the work I had put in was paying off — and at the same time served as a great reminder to work even harder to reach the next step. It’s easy to take for granted how lucky I am to travel and compete against the best in the World; and when you look back on, it’s really special. 

Q: Let’s look back at last year’s event in Idre, where you scored your first your first World Cup podium. Can you tell us something more about that day? We reckon it must have been a pretty special day for you…

A: Idre last year was awesome. With it being my first podium, it was one of the first times I really felt like I was ready to contend and compete at the highest level of our sport. I remember so vividly standing up at the top before Super-Finals with the other five guys I was competing against (Ikuma, Ben, Brodie, Brad, and Oskar). There was almost this 'unspoken energy’ at the time — we all wanted to win, but at the same time we all wanted each other to ski their very best runs. We were all looking to beat each other at their best; and I think that positive and competitive energy is what our sport is all about, and it was definitely something I will never forget.  

Q: What is the biggest challenge for you when competing during a worldwide pandemic and how do you deal with it?

A: Competing and traveling during the pandemic was absolutely a curve ball. I don’t think anyone could have predicted what that was going to entail, but all around I think FIS as well as the US Ski and Snowboard Team handled it extremely well. The uncertainty of what our schedule was going to look like or if we’d even be able to travel were some challenging roads to navigate, and it’s hard to forget the countless amount of COVID tests. I still tear up every time I get one poked up my nose! However, with all the negatives that the pandemic brought I think it brought along some positives as well. With training centres and gyms being shut down, I was really able to focus on getting my fitness to a new level. I built a gym in my basement and was able to take advantage of all that new free time in a productive way that would pay off once we got back into competing; and as I moved from 28th to 9th in the World. I think it did just that. 

Q: Now looking ahead to the new season with the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing on the horizon, what are your goals for 2021/22?

A: We’re coming up to an exciting year — there’s a lot on the line and I’m so excited to see what happens. The Olympics are definitely on my mind, as I’d love to represent Team USA in Beijing; but on top of that, I want to continue to work on getting into contention. Being able to bring your best when it matters most is so important in competition; whether that be in a World Cup start gate, the golf course, or any situation where something is on the line. I think that’s something you can only learn by putting yourself in the situation — seeing what works and what doesn’t, and ultimately learning how to fail in order to succeed.  I’m really looking forward to showing off all the work I’ve put in during the off season and see what happens by the end of the competition year! 

Q: The US moguls team looks like one big family. You spend a lot of time together training, traveling and competing. What is like to be part of such a successful team? Who pushes you the most and how? 

A: Our US Team is really special. I think the backbone of it comes from our staff who put in every effort to help make us our best. I really feel like I’m held accountable for everything I do, which makes our staff full of exceptional allies, on top of being already great friends. The athletes on the team are full of hard workers, and it’s great to train alongside them because I think that kind of culture makes everyone better. It’s pretty cool; there are lots of people around me who challenge me to be my best. I grew up idolizing Bryon Wilson. I went from watching him in 2010 to being able to call him one of my closest friends and most trusted coaches; he helps make me better everyday. I remember as I started to develop as a skier I constantly chased athletes like Brad Wilson and Morgan Schild around at every opportunity I got. I was obsessed with being around them because I knew they would make me better — as a skier and a person. Fast forward to today: and it’s no different… now we just wear the same jacket as teammates. 

Q: What is your favourite World Cup venue to compete at?

A: As I’m still relatively new onto the World Cup scene I love getting to experience all these new venues around the world. My favorite venue and event is the Deer Valley World Cup as it holds a very special place in my heart. I learned to ski moguls on the Champion Run at Deer Valley with Wasatch Freestyle and vividly remember searching through the crowd every year at the World Cup looking for autographs and pictures from my favorite skiers. I have a great collection of fan pictures from when I got to meet people like Mikael Kingsbury, Hannah Kearney, Patrick Deneen, and so many more that I still look up to today. After competing in the event for the past two years it’s really come full circle when I see a young mogul skier come running up to me with a pen or camera in hand as I’m met with that same joy I had when I was young, but now from the other side. 

Q: Name three things you love about skiing moguls.

A: Three things I love about skiing moguls: the excitement, the competition, and the work. 

First the excitement: it’s like watching a race car skid around a sharp turn; you see the smoke coming off the wheels, the painted black marks left on the track, and you smell the rich scent of burnt rubber. You’re at the edge of your seat because for a split second you don’t know if they’re going to crash into the railing or control the turn and go flying down the next stretch. That split second is what I love so much about our sport — both when I watch it and when I’m the one doing it. There’s such an art to pushing the boundaries while staying in control and so much creativity that comes from what we do. 

Skiing moguls has really taught me how to compete in everything I do. Whether I’m standing in a start gate or over a 10-foot putt to win a hole golfing with my dad — I’m always trying to find a way to win. I love those big moments where all the pressure is on and everything matters. When you’re the last person to run in an event, and you hold the results in your hands: either showing up and winning, or missing out and seeing someone else get what you were so close to having. I’ve had my fair share of both and while I love coming out on top, at the same time I have to appreciate the times when I don’t. I think it’s in those moments when you fail that you really get to learn and see how to improve, and on top of that it lights that competitive fire to win the next time. 

Lastly, the work. Mogul skiing has given me goals to reach for, but more importantly, it’s given me a plan to try and achieve them. I love the dirty work that needs to go into making something as elegant as a winning mogul run — the work that nobody sees. All the time spent in the gym, training, and preparing for about 20-seconds of action. It’s in some of those moments of solitude that I think I’ve really found who I am and an understanding of the effort I need to put in to get to where I want to in this sport. 

Q: Single or duals? And why?

A: Oh man! That’s a hard question. They’re so similar and so different at the same time; it’s like stroke vs match play in golf. I think in singles the biggest competition comes between yourself and the course. Yes, there are other people you’re competing against, but the main focus is skiing the best run you can when it matters the most. Duals on the other hand, there’s only one goal: beat the person next to you. If I had to pick one I think I’d say Singles. I love the spotlight where all the eyes are on one person as they show off their best stuff. But duals bring a level of excitement that is hard to match. I love them both so much! 

Q: You’re definitely pushing the sport forward with your tricks repertoire. What do you wish for the future of the sport?

A: Being in a position now to help shape what the future of our sport is like is really special — as athletes it’s almost a responsibility we have to leave the sport better than we found it just like the generations before us did. I would love to see moguls get to the place where we can start doing double flips in competition. I think it would open a lot of doors for us to get creative with jumping and introduce a whole new catalog of jumps to really diversify what a fan would see if they watched a mogul event.  Don’t get me wrong, doing cork 1440’s is super fun, but I hope I can compete a double cork before I need to add a 5th spin to my bottom air - ha! 

Q: Name three things you never travel without on the World Cup circuit?

A: Three things I never travel without: my weighted blanket, a few downloaded movies, and a wedge and putter to keep my short-game sharp while passing time in the hotel room! 

 

 
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