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Countdown to European X Games: Catching up with Kaya Turski

We chatted with Kaya before Euro X about success, support and rollerblading in Shanghai.

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On the final jump of the final run for women’s ski slopestyle, Kaya Turski landed the first switch 1080 by a woman in Winter X Games history and won her third consecutive gold medal in January.

Last season, she was victorious in slopestyle at the X Games, Euro X, World Championships at the World Skiing Invitational and Winter Dew Tour at Snowbasin, Utah, putting her at the top of the AFP women’s slopestyle rankings for the third year in a row.

How’s the season?
Early season I trained in Mammoth, which is always really great for me. It’s low key and I’m pretty tight with the park crew. That mountain supports me. We got some jumps built and I was able to practice on my own program. It set me up going into Dew Tour and X Games.

You’ve had some great results this season.
This X Games was the best event I’ve ever competed in. It was my best win yet. I brought out my 1080, which I landed for the first time at Nine Queens last spring. And I’m really proud of winning Athlete of Year at X Games. There were some really talented and amazing female athletes at X Games, so it’s an honor.

I won the second Dew Tour stop. Winning overall at Dew Tour was awesome.

Competing at Mammoth, my home mountain, for Grand Prix was cool because it gave me a mental and emotional advantage.

What came together this season to help you succeed?
I’ve always been serious about training, but now I’m really taking everything to another level—my eating, my sleeping, everything… I’m focusing on my body, but I’m also taking my soul to that next level. I’m working on the emotional side of things. I want to stay happy and I told myself I would be on my own program and not get overwhelmed by everything. I live on my own now. I’m not putting as much pressure on myself. I’m staying more comfortable and it’s showing in my skiing.

I have lots of support from my team in Montreal, including D2ten, a privately funded organization that supports Olympic athletes. Working with the Canadian freestyle team has been really cool.

Last year by the end of the season, I was worn out. I worked with a sports psychologist to figure out what works for me—what keeps me the happiest.

Trickwise, I am trying to work on my switch left spinning and work on getting inverted. I’m thinking forward to the Olympics. I’m working on my webisode series, “State of Mind.”

Looking forward to European X Games?
I’m really excited; I’m feeling good. I’m rolling with momentum and feeling confident and comfortable. Euro X is less stressful and more fun. The vibe in Tignes is great. Everyone comes out and there’s huge crowd. It’s a lot like Aspen, but we all stay in the same hotel and hang out. It’s a fun time because it’s one of the only events where skiers and snowboarders can hang.

What’s next?
After Euro X, I’ll go to Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, Austria for Nine Queens. Then I’ll be back in Mammoth. I got invited to the Asian X Games in Shanghai for rollerblading. There’s no girls division, so I’m going to compete with the boys and connect with my old world. In May, I’ll go to Woodward West and train then head to Whistler for WSI.

How are you prepping for the Olympics?
I have a vision. My path is clear and I feel like I know where I want to be—not just tricks but how I want to be feeling. I’m taking the time to prepare for it. I want to ski my best and drop in knowing I did everything I could to prepare for that moment.