In her first year as a Monster Energy athlete, Sweden’s Emma Dahlström did not disappoint. The one-time X Games gold medalist slowly built steam throughout the season, stacking podium after podium, with a total of eight on the season. In a women’s field mired in injury and inconsistency, Emma displayed the most consistent contest season the industry has seen in years. With each podium the young Swede built up her confidence and clout as she marches inexorably toward PyeongChang in 2018.
After a long off-season devoid of a lot of training due to a nagging runner’s knee ailment, Dahlstrom hit the ground running at the opening contest of the year, the Winter Dew Tour. Considered the longest and most technical slopestyle course (until Korea later in the season), and with inclement conditions all week, Emma snagged a 3rd place finish, the first of many in 2015-16. She also managed to get a few pow turns in, to boot.
She notched another 3rd place at the first US Grand Prix of the season in Mammoth, the week prior to X Games in Aspen. Unfortunately, as the defending X Games gold medalist, Emma stumbled and didn’t crack the podium, her one notable misfire on the season.
Straight after X Games, the entire ski and snowboard industries descended upon the historic Fenway Park, for the inaugural US Grand Prix Big Air in Boston. The event was especially sweet for the women’s freeskiers, as this was their first full inclusion into the city big air scene. Previously women had forerun or independently competed in the Freestyle.CH or Icer Air events.
With the temperatures at night dropping to around -10, on what we would later learn was a record breaking cold weekend in Boston, Emma and the rest of the women’s field showed what they could do in front of a crowd of 15,000. With difficult conditions and a new format, Emma was barely edged out of first place, finishing a mere two-tenths of a point back.
Boston marked the last time Emma would be in the US competing, as she then headed off to Korea, to the site of the 2018 Olympics for the slopestyle test event, where she finished in 3rd place, behind MEC’s Maggie Voisin. And with barely enough time to get over jet lag, Dahlstrom flew straight from Korea to Norway for the inaugural Winter X Games Oslo.
And after years of not having a big air event to compete in, Emma and the rest of the women found themselves in their second big air contest in the span of three weeks, this time competing for X Games glory. The two big air events were similar in name only, with Oslo being a dusk event, a different format and a different jump, yet all the same, Emma finished on the podium, snagging a bronze medal.
Following Oslo, Emma stayed in Europe, jetting down to Corvatsch, Switzerland for the final World Cup of the season, where she led a Monster Energy ladies sweep, besting Giulia Tanno and Maggie Voisin. Stop two for Emma led her to Laax, Switzerland for the storied European Open, the largest Open event in the world. The contest was besieged by fog and unseasonably warm temperatures, making conditions difficult. And after a long season, Emma was happy to make it out of the contest, with a 3rd place finish, to boot.
"I think this is my seventh podium out of eight contests [at press time]. I’m really happy. I don’t know how i managed to ski so consistently but I feel like I’ve been keeping the same [ideas] as last year and have been believing in my skiing and it’s worked out."
And after a long season, Emma didn’t put too much pressure on her last couple of stops: The Nine Queens and The Swedish Nationals. In Austria at Nine Queens she just worked on gathering content, both photos and videos, while the Swedish Nationals were more of a formality, where she cruised to the win. With yet another successful season in the books, Emma is relaxing and training in equal parts, getting ready for another banner year in 2016-17.
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