Name: Anna Segal
Home Mtn: Breckenridge, CO and Thredbo, Australia
K2 Skis of Choice: MissConduct, Remedy 117
Sponsors: K2, Dakine, Bolle, Thredbo, Breckenridge, Full Tilt
What do you love most about skiing?
A combination of the adrenaline rush, the progression, constant challenge and above all, being outdoors with my friends on a daily basis.
Growing up in Australia, away from most of the industry, who was your biggest skiing mentor?
Even though I grew up on the other side of the world, I had access to the international ski scene through ski movies. I used to watch old ski movies like Propoganda, Happy Days and Shanghai Six on repeat! I loved watching the guys, but my favourite segments were of girls such as Sarah Burke, Kristi Leskinen and Marie Martinod. All those girls acted as mentors for me. They inspired me to think that if they could do it, so could I.
How is your knee recovering and can you give us an update on your overall health?
My knee is coming along well. It’s been a slow process taking longer than I first anticipated, which at times has been frustrating. I spent 4 months up in Sydney working with the Australian team trainer. During this time it felt like all I was doing was training, icing, eating and sleeping. But I did what I needed to do to get back on snow as soon as possible. I’m now back jumping, hitting rails and I even got a few sneaky pow days in Aus.
What are your future skiing plans?
That’s a hard one. My main focus right now is the 2014 Olympics in Russia. However once that is done…… Ahhhh. I have so many ideas and things I want to do with my skiing. I want to ski pow, build back country jumps, film and shoot photos. I’ve put all these things on the back burner this last year. I’m just craving to go on some adventures!! I’m going to keep my mind open and see what opportunities come my way.
Of all your gold medals (FIS FSWC 2011, Winter X-Games 2009, US Freeski Open 2007), which are you most proud of and why?
It’s hard to pick one which I am most proud of. None of them came easy, nor were any of them expected. The 2007 US Freeski Open was my first professional comp and I had a broken wrist and a smashed up face. For X-Games I skied with a torn meniscus and had the flu and before the 2011 FIS World Champs I was struggling with my skiing confidence. So for each one I feel like I overcame some hard times, which made each win that much sweeter.
Do you listen to tunes when you ride? If so, what jams get you going?
Yeh, almost all the time. I’m always switching up what I’m listening to depending on my mood. At the moment I’m pretty into Flume, Aluna George and the Foals’ new album. But I have some staples that I’ll always go back to; The White Stripes, Rage Against the Machine, The Fugees and lots of old school hip hop. Kind of a strange mix.
Being from Australia, would your rather own a koala or kangaroo as a pet?
I think a Koala would be easier to look after. They just chill in the trees and get stoned on Eucalyptus oils.
Which upcoming contest are you most excited for?
I think the first one, which will be the Breckenridge Dew Tour. I love competing at my home mountain because I don’t have to travel anywhere! Plus Breck has the best jumps, so I know the course will be money! I haven’t competed since February and I’m really looking forward to getting back into it.
Is there a particular park feature that you like best?
It depends on the day, my mood and how I’m skiing. So no, I don’t have one favourite feature.
Any new tricks in store for the 2014 season?
I’m all about learning new tricks, it’s why I love skiing park- there’s always progression to be made. There’s a lot of tricks I’d like to stomp and bring to competition next season, but I’m not going to claim them until I’ve got them on lock.
Which resort has the best park? Why?
That’s easy- Breckenridge. The park crew has jump building down to a fine art and they never slack on raking. Plus, Breck has two full runs dedicated to the park which they jam pack full of features and continue to change it up throughout the season.
Favorite ski resort in the world and why?
Breckenridge in the Northern hemisphere and Thredbo down in Australia. There’s nothing more fun than skiing at your home resort. When it snows, I know where all the good stashes are and on any given day there are always heaps of friends around to ski with.
Who is your favorite skier to watch and who has the best style?
Ahh, there are too many…… I love watching B-dog for his creativity, Wallisch for his landings, Pettit’s ability to ski massive lines and still get playful with them, Kaya Turski for her park skills and Candide for being an all round badass. That’s just to name a few.
If you could be pro in any other sport, what would it be?
I’d be a pro surfer (not that I assume that this would have ever happened)- I always joke with my mum that she should have brought me up as a surfer as I’d be able to spend a lot more time at home in Australia.
How can you best describe the difference between ski culture in the the northern hemisphere vs. the southern?
Down in Aus we are less spoiled with long runs, long seasons and lots of snow. People are just stoked if it isn’t raining and 4 inches of fresh is considered a pow day! People have lower expectations as far as conditions go, which is refreshing. Shredding back home reminds me that skiing is all about having fun, getting creative and being outdoors with my friends. No expectations!
How are you training for the Olympics?
On the physical side of things, I’ve been doing a lot of work in the gym, trying to make myself bullet proof so I’m less likely to get injured on snow. Over the last year I’ve also been working a lot on the mental side of things. I’ve been learning how to stay happy and focused no matter what the situation.
What do you most look forward to about competing in Sochi?
I’m looking forward to representing my country. Previously in freeskiing I’ve represented myself and my sponsors. Which is fun and all, but I think there will be something more special in being on the world stage and representing my home country.
What are your passions besides skiing?
I LOVE surfing. I’m not great at it, but it’s the only other thing that gives me the same happiness as skiing.
What are your tips for aspiring professional female skiers?
Keeping your body strong is key. Most female skiers want to be hitting the same features as the guys, which is totally do-able. But our bodies are not naturally as strong. Putting in time in the gym isn’t always fun, but it will prevent injuries and help you progress faster. Most girls realise this after their first big injury. My advice is to discover it before.