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Sammy Olsen, Freeskier (UT)

by Allie Huish on May 28, 2017




Your Age: 23

Your Location (where do you ride mostly): Snowbird, UT

Weapon(s) of choice: Skis of course! But in the off-season I have my climbing shoes and harness to keep me busy.

What’s an average day for you like? Waking up before the sun to get a dawn patrol in before school or work. If I don’t have school/work that day I will be in the backcountry all day or at my favorite resort Snowbird.

What is the most difficult part of your activity/sports for a beginner? The easiest? The most difficult part for me is realizing everything takes practice, you need to
put a lot of work in to see results, and you won’t be able to get something down overnight. The easiest part for me is getting out there and having a good time while doing it.

What is the best and worst thing about being female in your sport? Being a girl skier can be challenging at times because there is that stereotype that because I’m a girl I won’t be as good. But this is also the best thing because it makes me not only hold myself to a higher standard but I am always striving to prove the stereotype wrong, girls can do anything guys can do and just as hard!

What would you like to see change in your sport to make it better for you and other female athletes? More girls getting out there and pushing their limits, we should never be telling ourselves we couldn’t do something.

Besides your ability and style factor as an athlete, how would you describe your personal style? I can’t describe my style in one word. My style varies from granola/outdoorsy all the way to “ready for the weekend”.

What are your favorite brands/designers for your sports apparel and for stepping out? I absolutely love The North Face, Smith Optics, and Prana.

Let’s hear your thoughts on how important looking good is to feeling good. “Being” your personal best? Being my personal best is one of the most important things to me. I know I hold myself to a high standard because I believe in myself. I feel like whatever I put my mind to and work hard enough for I can achieve.

How dangerous do you really think it is compared to what people do in their regular activities?  I don’t really think of my sports as being dangerous. I feel this way because I work up to what I do so I’m confident in my actions whether I’m deciding on skiing a line in the backcountry or hitting a new cliff.

I bet in your experience you have seen some crazy crashes. Describe one. I’ve had two major crashes while skiing. One was in May 2014 when a few friends and I were in Hood for the summer. It was the first clear day that it wasn’t raining/snowing and we were skiing hard and fast. In Oregon they would have these weird windblown gully things, which was the reason I went down. I had launched off this gully and my tip had hit the wall of the other side and I ejected flying about 20 feet from where I had actually crashed. I hit my head (thank goodness I had a helmet on) and my vision had gone green for a few hours and I couldn’t remember skiing down after the crash. My whiplash was so bad I had neck problems for a while.

What usually gets people hooked on your activity/sport? What got me hook on skiing was the first day I realized how to ski powder. The feeling of flying through the snow like that was exhilarating. I literally feel like I’m flying when I can ski like that and it’s the best feeling in the world.

Do you own any other toys? Although skiing is my passion in life I love everything in the outdoors. I also own a white-water kayak which gives me such an adrenaline rush. I also love to sport climb with my sister. The feeling when I am up so high and about to clip the anchors is amazing. These are just a few of my other favorite things. I know I have a problem buying new toys; these include my road bike, mountain bike, backpacking gear, and wakeboard.

What gets you pumped up for the day? I try to do something adventurous every day I can. Knowing that I am going to be able to get out and do something that gives me that rush is the ultimate thing to get me pumped.

What are three things you could not live without? My skis, climbing shoes and Cricket (my cat).

What are your expectations for this activity/sport? My expectations with skiing are always growing. My dream is to be able to travel the world and ski in new places and continuously finding creative new lines.

Who have been your biggest supporters in getting you to where you are now? My biggest supporter would have to be my step-dad. He is the reason I learned to ski and will still always be my favorite person to ride with on the mountain.

Who’s your favorite rider/shooter (photo/video)? My favorite rider is Lynsey Dyer. I love that she believes in women growing our sport so much and has so much fun with it.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not riding/shooting/competing? When I’m not skiing I just love to be outdoors. I love exploring new places with people I love whether it’s traveling across the world or backpacking around Utah.

How about in the off season to stay in shape? In the off season I love to rock climb. Climbing keeps my entire body in shape and I love the feeling when I am able to work out a new route.

What is your biggest goal to accomplish this/next season? My biggest goal is to get through my avvie 2 certification and to get at least 50 days in the backcountry (I’m already a ¼ the way there!). Another goal of mine is to get better in the park so I can take those skills to the backcountry.

What’s your favorite “way” to ride? My passion is freeride and backcountry.

Favorite conditions? It just dumped 3 feet and they are dropping the rope line to the Cirque at Snowbird.

Where would be your biggest dream place to ride and why? I really want to go ski in Japan. What started my obsession with getting to Japan was when they got 10 feet of snow in 10 days last season!

What song(s) do you listen to while riding that puts you in the zone? I love all music but my absolute favorite music to ski to would be music that has a good rhythm to it where I can find that rhythm with my skiing.

What turned you on to your sport? My step-dad and how much he loved it. He is my role model and I wanted to do everything he did so that’s what sparked my interest in skiing.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done in your sport? Toured up Wolverine Cirque and skied one of the chutes with a mandatory drop in, when I stomped that chute it was the best feeling I’ve ever had in my life!

What other extreme/action sports are you into? Rock climbing, mountain biking, road biking, backpacking, wakeboarding.

If extreme/action sports didn’t exist, what would you be doing with all the free time you’d have? I have absolutely no idea, action sports are what keep me sane!

What’s your favorite board/bike/sled to ride and why? My new skis that I have my AT setup on are the Armada VJJs 2.0 and I absolutely love them! They cut through anything and everything and when I am able to ski the perfect pow line they have the best float!

What’s the trick to riding features and not killing yourself? Having confidence in yourself!

How would you describe your riding style? Free rider.

Favorite drink of choice to refresh yourself after a long day of riding/shooting? Black Tea.

What do you want to be when you grow up? The Public Relations Director for an outdoor company I love!

Any of your own web pages or social media buttons you want links to? 
Instagram: sammy.k.o
Snapchat: sammyo801



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