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Maggie Voisin competes in the 2016 Winter X Games.

Maggie Voisin Q&A

May 262016

Freeskier Maggie Voisin first broke on the scene at the age of 13 winning the World Ski Invitational over that year’s reigning X Games Champ. Since then the nascent Montana-native’s career has been marked by highs—an X Games silver and Olympic berth—and some lows—a couple season-ending injuries. We caught up with Maggie at her home in MT, where she’s enjoying one of the few down times of the season.

maggie voisin q&a

This season you returned to competition after a 13-month hiatus. How did you feel after competing your first contest in over a year at X Games?

I don’t think I fully realized how much I missed competing until I got on the slope style course! Coming back for the first time in Aspen was definitely nerve wracking but more than anything I was so happy with the way it all come together. I did some tricks for the first time there since I blew my knee, and I just put together a run than I wasn’t sure I was going to have ready by then. Even though I got the dreaded fourth place [laughs], I was happy to see that my run and my skiing held its own with the rest of the field with the short amount of time I had back on snow!

Since X Games, you've competed in Boston at a big air and Korea in slopestyle, 9 Queens in Austria, etc. Did you notice that your confidence grew at each event? Both in physical aspects of post-injury as well as the mental aspects of competing?

Oh, my confidence for sure grew a lot at every event! In Aspen I got out my first-time back jitters out of the way and in Boston all of us girls together competed on a scaffolding jump for the first time. Moving into Korea I could really tell my skiing was getting its full confidence back and getting my first podium there really proved that. Just throughout the whole year and rest of my season I started learning more about the way my body and knee would feel, what was good and bad, and looking back I notice now that every trip I went on I started worrying less and getting back to my normal mindset.

What exactly was your injury and how did it happen? How long were you out?

I tore my left ACL along with both my lateral and medial meniscus. I was competing in the 2014 Dew Tour, my first event back from my Olympic Injury. It happened in my first run in finals on the second jump. I was doing an unnatural 720 and I just went way too big so I landed super over rated and back seat. I didn’t return to snow until a little over nine months out from when I got surgery.

Was it hard to sit on the sidelines for so long watching all your friends and competitors do their thing?

Oh yeah, that was for sure one of the hardest parts for me and I know it’s that way for every athlete. Especially after being sidelined at the Olympics and then to have that happen at my first event back it just felt like at the time that that was the worst thing that could've happened to me. But from what I have taken out of being injured I feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself as an athlete and just as a person. So as time went on through my rehab I learned to make my frustration my fuel to be the best I could be when I returned to snow.

You hadn't been on the podium in over two years. How did it feel to stand up there again? Since you came back you've finished on three podiums.

There was no better feeling than being able to stand on a [some] podiums this season especially after having back-to-back injuries. It just really made me proud to see all the hard work I had put in over my rehab and to see it all pay off was truly humbling! I got on my first podium at the Olympic test event in Korea. I got another one in Silvaplana at the World Cup Final, and if you count the big air at Nine Queens, then I got three podiums this season.

A lot of people were wary about the contest in Korea, it being a new and untested venue. What were your thoughts on it?

The first few days were pretty challenging because that was easily the most creative slopestyle course any of us skiers had seen. It took a little more time to get used to and to figure out but once we started to compete I feel like for myself and it all came together extremely well. I was really pleased with the whole venue in Korea; the people were extremely nice, the food was good, the weather and snow conditions were great. It should make an amazing venue for the next Olympics!

Do you think courses like Korea with more options and creative line selections could become the norm moving forward?

It wouldn’t surprise me if we started seeing more courses like the one we skied in Korea. Slopestyle has the potential to progress in any direction and I think it could be really fun and exciting to see more courses like that as long as they stay realistic.

Now that it's the end of the season, what are your summer plans? And do you feel like you are ready for next year?

My plans for the summer are just to go back to Montana and take a little bit of time off. Hang with the family, get my body recouped for next season, finish up some school classes, and just enjoy my time back home while I can. I also have a couple summer skiing trips planned to Mt. Hood and a big trip to Australia at the end of summer which I am really looking forward to. With a little time off to rest and some camps throughout the summer I think I’ll be more than ready heading into next season!

The sport keeps getting younger, and even at 17 you've got a few miles under your belt, making you a veteran. How have things changed for you over the past few seasons?

I can’t say much has changed just besides knowing the ins and outs of the industry better. The women's field is growing and there is more talent right now in women's skiing than there ever has been. For me that is really exciting to see and I think [it’s] going to progress a whole lot moving into these next couple of years!

Any concrete goals for next season? Or just stay healthy and have fun?

Nothing concrete right now besides to just keep loving what I do and have the most fun I possibly can. Hopefully I get on a couple more podiums, stay healthy and maybe try and get into to a little more backcountry skiing if I have the time!