I received an official invite to my first ever X Games the morning of the Korean ski finals. To get an invite to X Games, is easily one of the biggest goals for a skier. While I am very excited to get this opportunity, it was bittersweet at the time. The spot I received was from one of my buddies, Oscar Wester. Oscar unfortunately suffered a blown ACL the morning before our Qualifier in practice. Wishing him a very speedy recovery.
Since the invite was so last minute, this shifted my travel plans quite a bit. Enter the most hectic 48 hours of travel I’ve ever experienced. After flying out of Korea, and a quick layover in Japan. I awoke to landing back in Denver for a 20-hour layover. Short but sweet time back in Colorado hanging out with my buddies Keith Matsumura and Kyle Delong. The next morning, I was back at the airport. After almost missing my flight due to the long lines, I was airborne to Chicago, then a nice empty flight to London, where I took up an entire row to finally catch up on some much needed sleep. Following an easy change, and a quick flight I had finally arrived in Oslo. Thankfully the hotel was right next to the central train station, and I was able to get settled in for a few quick hours before heading over to the big air jump.
To get to the jump, we hopped onto the subway and went over a few stops to the Toyen station. It’s always funny when you’re on public transportation with all your ski gear. The amount of double takes and strange looks on other’s faces is priceless. Upon finally seeing the beauty of a jump before us, and watching a few of the snowboarders hit it. We finally got our chance. Taking the elevator up, which was way more terrifying than hitting the jump, and getting as many laps in for the few hours we had. The jump was amazing! Very smooth with enough kick to give you some good hang time. Following the session, it was back to the Hotel.
That evening, all athletes were invited to a welcome dinner put on by the city of Oslo in City Hall. Once we arrived, the mayor gave us a welcome speech that spoke of how proud the city was to host the X Games, although they were upset about not being able to drug test us. She stuck on that point so much, I felt like we were all about to get drug tested then and there. Thankfully she moved on to more upbeat points, and told us all to explore the building afterwards, and enjoy Oslo. I didn’t know this before the speech, but City Hall in Oslo is where they hand out the Nobel Peace Prize every year. Took me by shock when I thought of how many brilliant people throughout history had been in that same place. Following dinner, and having a good look around the building a bunch of us went to go watch Skateboarding qualifiers.
The next day, we didn’t ski till the evening. When we arrived, it was golden hour. Taking the sketchy elevator while looking over Oslo was pretty amazing. Our session went till it was dark, then back to the hotel for a quick dinner, and rushed over to watch Skateboarding finals. Up early the next day, and ready to ride. It was time for us to have our qualifiers. I had been struggling with some of my tricks in practice, and didn’t know exactly what to do, so I decided to try a different grab with my Switch Dub 10 that I had wanted to do for a while. Ended up getting my grab and landed the trick in my second run. Missed finals by two spots, but was hyped to learn something new and much more fun then my previous trick.
Had an amazing experience at my first X Games, along with my first time ever to Norway. Had an awesome time checking out the city, along with one of the most odd and interesting public parks i've ever seen., Vigeland.
I had a couple days to kill before heading to Switzerland for the final world cup, so I decided to stick around to watch all of the pipe events, then headed out to Stavanger on an overnight train to meet distant relatives for the first time. I had one full day to meet and greet family, along with seeing the area my grandma came from. This something i’ve wanted to do for a long time, and seeing where my family came from was a dream come true. I hope to return one day with the rest of my family to see the area.
Getting to meet some of my distant relatives is one of the best things I've gotten the chance to experience. It was insane seeing the history of my family, and how they've had a farm in Norway since the 1600s. Norway was amazing! Looking forward to hopefully going back this winter.