The Path to the Podium

Posted on in Health + Lifestyle, Nature + Outdoors, Sports + Training by Jaclyn Paaso

It's February and I'm back home in Åre, Sweden for the first time in almost a month. I've been travelling from Sweden, down to the Alps, Pyrenees and back! During that time I've competed in the first two stops of the Freeride World Tour. Coming off a rough season in 2015 the start of this winter was crucial for me. My goal for the season is to walk away with the overall title.

Before the start of the first stop in Andorra I was struggling with pain in my knees. To the point where I actually almost contemplated asking for an injury wild card. I wasn't sure if I could ski the way I wanted to. In hindsight I think some of the pain was mental. I decided I would do my best to put it aside and try and compete. The conditions in Andorra were not ideal. It was a very thin snow cover and chances of hitting rocks was higher than I liked. I picked a straight forward line that I knew I could ski safely despite the conditions.

Andorra day 1 - low

Contest day came and I dropped into my run feeling pretty good. After my second run the snow conditions got worse and I decided to skip one cliff drop I had planned. Went on to my next three and came down with a solid run. It was not my usual style with big drops but it was decent, in fact it ended up being good enough for the win!

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Next, we were off to Chamonix for the second stop of the Freeride World Tour. I was happy to be in the lead but nervous about holding onto that spot. When it came time for the contest I really struggled picking a line. My knee was feeling better and that made it more difficult for me to choose a strategy. Go for the win, risking maybe too much, ski a solid line and secure at least a podium spot? I couldn't decide and when it came time to ski that was an issue. Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 11.26.49

I dropped in with the intentions of skiing a line I had won with before. Although my mind was still not really set on it. I really want the overall title this year and although a win with that line would feel fantastic I wasn't sure it was the best strategy. So, I bailed on that cliff. As much as I hate to admit it, I  skipped my main feature which ended up in a much lower score than I was hoping for. I ended up finishing 6th. I lost some ground in the ranking and dropped to 2nd place.

I'm trying to look at this as a good thing though. I relaxed a bit too much in my second contest. I know I need to keep the focus up to accomplish my main goal for this season which is the overall title.  So I feel coming up from behind will be an advantage to me. There will be less focus on the title as far as the media is concerned, less pressure, but still close enough to grab it in the end!

Stay tuned for the results from the next contest in Fieberbrunn, Austria! You can check out the Freeride World Tour at: www.freerideworldtour.com


Jaclyn Paaso

After many years as a competitive mogul skier, with one title as Jr. World Combined Champion, Jaclyn decided to take a break from mogul skiing. Jaclyn moved out to Lake Tahoe, California where she became a freestyle coach for the Alpine Meadows Freestyle Team and then the Squaw Valley ski team.


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