Dual citizen: Grete Eliassen Q&A
Grete Eliassen had a good season this year: Third in Winter X Slopestyle, first at Red Bull Cold Rush, the best female performance at the Powder Video Awards, and her Teton Gravity Research film debut in their latest release, “One For The Road,” due out this fall. To top it all off, this week, the International Olympic Committee announced that ski slopestyle would be added to the Olympic program, along with ski halfpipe, for the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia. Eliassen is now in full-on Olympic training mode. We spoke to her this week from her family’s lake house in Minnesota.
What was it like when you got the news this week about slopestyle making it into the Olympics?
I was sitting with my family and I got the message, an email, saying slope was going to be in. It’s so awesome. This is something that all of us have worked so hard for. Now freeskiing will finally be on the world stage.
So, what’s your plan between now and 2014?
I’m in full training mode now. I just got back from Toronto, where Bobby Brown, Kaya Turski and I were doing an air awareness camp on trampolines. Now I’m heading to the water ramps in Park City. I’ve always been skiing and training as much as I can — we’ve always been trying to progress the sport. But now there will be more structure, more training camps.
You grew up in both the U.S. and Norway and you have dual citizenship with both countries. Which country would you like to represent at the Olympics?
I’m undecided on that. I competed in World Champs for Norway and there is huge support for twintip skiing in Norway. That’s where my roots are from. But I live in Salt Lake City, so it might be better for me to be training with the U.S. team. It’s going to be a tough decision.
Either way, here’s hoping you get to Russia.
I went to Sochi a couple of years ago to film for the Oakley Uniquely movie. We were joking while we were, saying ‘We’re here training early, staying one step ahead of the competition.’ It rained the entire time we were there, on the southern tip of Russia. But the country is amazing. We were building a jump on the mountain, in the middle of nowhere, and these two skier kids came up to me and said, ‘You’re Grete Eliassen.’ There’s a big culture there for wintersports.
What tricks are you working on this summer?
In Toronto, Kaya and I were thinking doubles in our heads. We’re going to the jumps to figure that stuff out. It takes a lot of dryland training. I don’t think we’ll see women doing doubles in a contest this year. But maybe by the Olympics. It’s going to happen.
Congrats on your first part in a TGR movie.
Thanks. I can’t wait to see the movie. I had a bucket list of things I wanted to do in the backcountry this year and I was able to cross them all off. It was one of the best seasons I’ve ever had. I went to Baldface, BC, with Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Dash Longe, and Dylan Hood and then I did some sled-accessed filming with TGR in Utah. They were a great crew to work with.
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