Name: Yuki Tsubota
Other sponsors: The North Face, Sushi Village, Giro, Skullcandy
K2 skis of choice: MissConduct
Yuki! What’s up girl? How is life!??
Things have been really good! Haven’t done a whole lot since the Olympics but it’s so so so nice to have some down time to myself.
Tell us what you’ve been up to this summer…!
I’ve been slowly getting back into the swing of things, had a camp in Mt. Hood a couple of weeks ago. Coached a session at Momentum which was a blast and now I’m getting ready to head back down to Hood again. There’s been a lot of lake days and hanging with my friends which has been the best! Hoping to get out at least once for a camping trip.
How has your life changed since the Olympics?
I wouldn’t say my life has changed that significantly. There definitely has been more media and interviews and people asking how it was and how I’m doing. There are a lot more “wow you went to the Olympics?” I get from people, but if anything it was more of an amazing experience for me and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of our sport debuting at the games.
What is your favorite memory from last season?
Probably the day I was officially announced to the Olympic team. I was in Aspen at X Games and I got up early to watch the TV broadcast of the team being announced and of course everything about being at the games also was unforgettable. It didn’t really kick in for me that I was at the Olympics until I walked in with Canada at the opening ceremonies; what a night that was. Surprisingly though when it came to competing there, it wasn’t that much different then any other contest for me beside the a little more pressure but only in qualifiers. Once I made it to finals I was fine, I was there to do what I came to do and no matter what happened I was proud of myself because I skied the best I could.
Tell us a bit about your injury from Sochi. And how are you doing now?
So on my final run I came up short on the knuckle switch and kneed myself. I ended up fracturing my cheek in two spots and a concussion. I stayed in the hospital over night and flew home two days later. I was able to get surgery quickly after I got home and take everything real easy. I think I seemed fine at the time but I hardly remember anything after the accident for about two weeks, for the longest time I thought somebody packed my bags for me but apparently I did it myself and no recollection of the flight home. I couldn’t really do anything for about a month after which was the toughest I couldn’t drive at all so I had to have someone take me everywhere and be with me. I’m almost back to 100% now beside the vibrations I get though my face on hard impact but it’s been slowly going away.
What do you have in the books for this winter?
My season is looking really great, very similar to the last two season without the pressure of the Olympics so that will be nice. Dew Tour, World Cups, and X Games. If I find the time I would really like to get out to Japan and ski if not I want to get out and ski more back country and do a few trips out.
Give us some insight on what it’s like to grow up in Whistler. Is it is crazy as my vacations always are?!
I don’t think you could give a kid a better place to grow up! I’ve lived here since I was 3 moved up from Vancouver and haven’t left yet and have no plans to ever. Growing up I did every sport you could think of and trying to jam it all in every week was a task but slowly they got weeded out and I ended up with hockey and skiing, and at the age of 12 I put everything into skiing and it’s been my life ever since. The schooling here is great too with all the teachers being very accommodating with your schedule, helping you catch up and making sure we understood what we missed.
…and yes it’s always crazy as your vacations here, living in Whistler is like living in a vacation. Go skiing all day, hang out by the lake, do what every you want then theres the village to go partying, shopping or out for dinner. Thats why you get all these people that come to visit and never leave.
I think you pretty much have the best sponsor EVER (besides us of course;) Tell us about it puuhhlease!
I sure do! I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done. Ladies and gentlemen I’d like to give a big big thank you to Sushi Village. If you’ve been to Whistler before you know the place and how awesome it is. Hands down the best sushi and saki margs. All of the crazy nights we’ve all had in there… team dinners, birthdays, pants off parties…theres no better place to do it right. Putting that all to the side though they have been amazing support to me over the last two years and I give the biggest thanks to Miki and Naoko.
Do you have any rituals you do at the top of the slope course or before a comp?
I have one but I can’t tell you because it’s a secret. I do have a left and right ski that I’m very superstitious about and I also have a ziploc of notes and small charms that I ski with everyday, I know it’s weird but i’ve done it for so long now that it’s become a part of me.
Do you see yourself living in Whistler for a long time?
I sure do! This is the place I want to live forever and I can’t see my self living anywhere else, it’s home for me and always will be. Growing up here as a kid, I want my kids to grow up here and have all the opportunities I had.
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
That’s tough and I don’t really know if I even have any, I have the top three places I’d like to go but I know they aren’t very difficult places to get to and I will visit them way before I die. The first is to ski powder in Japan, I’ve visited Japan many times but only in the Summer and fall never to ski. I’ll find the time one day to go over there. Second is to go to Africa and do a couple week safari, I don’t know what it is but being able to see and be close to lions and elephants is very intriguing to me. My third is New York, it’s not very special but it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. Just to see the main places, Time Square, Central Park, Statue of Liberty ect.
Do you speak Japanese? Have you been to Japan much?
I do, I can almost speak fluent Japanese but my writing and reading is non-existent. I get to speak it sometimes with my mum, family back in Japan or a few people that around town but beside that not really. I’ve been to Japan around 8-9 times hopefully the next time is to ski too. It’s one of my favourite places to go, the food is to die for and the shopping is up there too.
What’s your favorite K2 ski and why?
The ski and ride and is my favourite is the MissConduct. It’s got the shape of a traditional ski which I love and perfect stiffness for me, last year I went up a size which really helped me, it’s made it easier to land having more tip and tail to land on. What I’m really excited for is the Remedy 112 for next year it’s a completely new ski that I can’t wait to try out.
Who was your biggest influence in the industry growing up?
Growing up in Whistler I looked up to all the pro skiers in town, I would see them around town and on the hill and be starstruck. Of course though Sarah was the one I looked up to the most even when I was a mogul skier she was the one. She did what the guys did and was just such a big influence on women’s skiing.
I know Paul Walker was your #1 man. Sorry for your loss. Do you have your eyes set on anyone new?
Really? Do we really need to talk about this? Yes Paul Walker was my man and we were gonna get married and drive fast cars. I remember the day I got the news, it was so devastating and I cried. There will never be anyone that can replace my love for him.
My family for always being behind me on everything I’ve ever done, my sponsors for supporting me, my coaches for getting me to where I am and making all my dreams real and a big special one to my best friend Annik and my man Ryan for putting up with me all the time because I’m so high maintenance.