Anna Gasser

While most riders started snowboarding in their infancy, Anna Gasser, Austria's best snowboard freestyle athlete, took quite some time to find her way on the boards that mean the world.

Being a young kid, she quickly fell in love with gymnastics. A few years later, at the age of 15 and being a coming pro, she decided that training was way too time consuming and called it quits. For three years, and while also knowing that something was missing in her life, there was no sport at all for her until her cousin showed her a few snowboard videos back in 2010.

Gasser was hooked immediately, and she strapped in for the first time ever in the same winter; deciding to become a pro after just a few days.

While her friends laughed her out of court for her ambitious goal, Gasser capitalised on her strong gymnastic background becoming the first woman ever to land a double cork 900 – just three years after her first turns on snow.

While her educational training suffered from times absent due to her intense training, her steely determination – Anna took one year off traveling to the US to solely focus on her riding – paid off in the end.

One year after this so far unknown blonde girl took the scene by storm landing the cab double cork 900, and only four years after hitting the slopes for the very first time, Gasser dominated the slopestyle qualifiers at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games as top qualifier finally coming home with a tenth place finish.

Less than one year later, she earned silver at the snowboard world championships; and another one-and-a-half year later, and having overcome a first severe injury, the rider from Carinthia celebrated her World Cup first triumphing in the big air World Cup opener staged at Milan (ITA).