Freeski superstar Jon Olsson is using his Queenstown stay to conjure up even more magic on the slopes.
He aims to become the world’s best alpine ski racer while remaining at the forefront of freestyle skiing – by attempting a groundbreaking new trick.
The Swedish heart-throb, race training at Coronet Peak and Treble Cone since arriving last week, says he’s busy thinking about executing the skiing world’s first triple cork jump (three full off-axis rotations), which he hopes to do while in the Southern Lakes.
Olsson plans to build a “kick-ass kicker” jump at Treble Cone during the next couple of weeks to test out his trick.
“Triple flips have been done, but not the way I hope to do it. If I succeed here with the triple, then that would be my biggest achievement.”
With a goal of competing in ski racing at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Olsson is already one year ahead of a personal programme after winning the overall giant slalom NorAm Cup at Waterville Valley, United States, in March.
On Monday, despite a back injury, he finished in 11th place in his first race for the season – the Australia New Zealand Cup giant slalom men’s Continental Cup race at Coronet.
It’s a far cry from betting 50,000 Swedish Krona (NZD $9671) with his mate and former world No.1 slalom
athlete Jens Byggmark four years ago, who said he wouldn’t make it to the Olympics.
“At that point I hadn’t touched a ski racing equipment part in six years,” Olsson explains.
Olsson, who turned 28 on Tuesday, has become a freeskiing sensation after turning pro at 17.
He ditched his childhood racing skis in favour of twin tips and became a pioneer of the-then new sport – inventing a variety of double flips, plus running his own tournaments – the Jon Olsson Invitational and the Jon Olsson Super Sessions.
Now one of the highest-paid freestyle skiers with 11 X-Games medals under his belt, Olsson lives in Monaco, owns an event management company, eyewear company Yniq and drives a Lamborghini LP670-4 SV – complete with ski box on the top.
He also owns a 1000 horsepower, 1000kg Ultima GTR, which he’s trying to turn into the world’s fastest streetcar.
Olsson admits he struggles balancing freeskiing and alpine, but it’s his dream to rule both sports.
“No one’s done that before. Doing things that no one’s done is really fun and rewarding.”