Joss Christensen made history on February 13, 2014 when he won the first-ever gold medal for men’s Olympic slopestyle skiing. What made the win even sweeter was that Christensen was an underdog heading into the Olympics, having been nominated to the team by coaches’ discretion. He certainly proved that the decision was a good one.
Having grown up in Park City, Utah, Joss grew up surrounded by "ski bums" and top pros (Tanner Hall and Pep Fujas) and aspiring young talents (friend and Oakley teammate Alex Schlopy). He was introduced to the sport at age 4 and never looked back.
“At first I just really enjoyed skiing,” Joss said. “When I realized it was a possibility to make a career out of it, it instantly became my goal.”
By 2010, Joss was among Powder Magazine's top 20 most talented skiers in the world under the age of 18. Now he's an Olympic gold medalist and a podium threat every time he competes – and living the high life that comes with winning on the sport's grandest stage.
Oakley, Rockstar, Fischer, Giro, Park City Mountain Resort, US Freeskiing
Mountain Biking, Skateboarding, Training, Xbox
Sean Pettit arrived to professional skiing early (first sponsored by Oakley at 11) and hasn’t looked back. Having grown up in Whistler skiing alongside his brother, Callum, and a talented group of friends, he honed his skills riding big mountain and some of the best backcountry terrain in the world.
Today, Pettit is one of the most popular and renowned big-mountain skiers in the sport, having starred in films, appeared on countless magazine covers, been recognized for every major award available and even won the Red Bull Cold Rush two years in a row – and he’s still in his early 20s. Now that his accolades are stacked high, his focus is on having the most amount of fun possible, pushing the limits of his skiing, and inspiring the next generation: "The day that I stop inspiring kids to continue to pursue what they want to do is probably the day that I'll stop skiing."
More about Sean and his passion and creativity in and around skiing at oakley.com/pettit.
K2, Red Bull, Oakley, Dalbello, Dakine, Fresh Poles
At this point in his career, Seth Morrison is all about simplicity. He’s already racked up the accolades, busted through performance boundaries, re-invented himself (park to backcountry to ski mountaineering), starred in a feature-length documentary (“The Ordinary Skier”) and progressed his skiing to a level that few others will ever achieve. These days, the legend that is Seth Morrison is just about riding and enjoying the life he’s built for himself over the past couple of decades. The more he can avoid the cameras and judges and critics and limelight, the better. He’s in search of new lines, new frontiers, new opportunities to scare himself.
While his competitive days are behind him, Seth remains the quintessential pro skier. Skiing is his life: seven days a week, 12 months a year. If he’s not on snow, he’s planning his next trip, fulfilling sponsor obligations, developing better equipment or mountain biking to stay fit.
Oakley, K2, Full Tilt, Hestra, Retallack, Backcountry.com, Troy Lee Designs
Mountain biking, snowmobile, hunting
There’s only one Tanner Hall. He has the accolades, the style and the respect of just about anyone who puts on a pair of skis. He’s a free spirit who is all about having fun in the sport he loves, sharing that vibe with everyone he meets and keeping it stylish the whole way through.
Despite having more trophies and contest hardware than most people would know what to do with, Tanner’s career hasn’t come without its fair share of challenges. In May 2009, Tanner suffered extensive knee injuries after overshooting a jump at Stevens Pass. He was out of competition for nearly four years. Today however, he is back and healthy, if a little less inclined to put on a jersey. Instead, Tanner would rather be in the backcountry or sharing the stoke of freeskiing through his involvement with Inspired TV.
Oakley, Armada, Rockstar, GoPro, POC, Dakine, Dalbello, Tyrolia, Pull-In, Park City Mountain Resort
Ski champions have frequently come from the smallest and most obscure dots on the map, and that would certainly describe Buck Hill, Minn., the ski area not far from Lindsey Vonn’s hometwon and just outside the Twin Cities. Today, Vonn is the most successful American female skier in history. She is one of the few “four event” alpine ski racers. She is also the only American woman to have captured downhill gold at the Olympics and one of only two women with four World Cup overall titles. Her staggering career World Cup victories total stands at 67, an all-time women's record.
Since finishing sixth in the combined event at the 2002 Winter Olympics at the age of 17, Vonn became a rising star on the World Cup circuit. In the 2009/10 season, she became the first American skier to win three discipline titles in a single season, taking the Downhill, Super G and Super Combined crowns (she repeated all three titles the following season). In 2010, Vonn lived up to her billing as the Golden Girl of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, as she took gold in Downhill and bronze in Super G. She ended the season earning her third overall World Cup title. And in 2015, Vonn eclipsed the women's World Cup victory total, and now is taking aim at the all-time victory total.
Along with her impressive ski resume, Vonn is pop culture icon in recent years, earning her ESPY awards, TV appearances, magazine covers and more, which has made her a household name not only in the US, but around the world.
Oakley, Red Bull, Vail Resorts, Under Armour, Proctor and Gamble, Rolex, Spyder, Alka Seltzer, Briko
Skiiing, tennis, golf, reading
Mikaela Shiffrin hails from Vail, Colorado and is now a standout American alpine skier. She made a name for herself with a spectacular breakthrough in front of a home crowd, finishing eighth in just her second World Cup slalom start.
Shiffrin began turning heads almost instantly when she finished in the top 15 of her first two NorAm Cup races. But the heads started spinning when she won a super combined in British Colombia two weeks later and transferred that momentum into a NorAm title and two World Cup starts as a first year J3.
U.S. Ski Team World Cup coaches got a glimpse of her skiing at the Aspen Winternational, where she was a forerunner for the annual Thanksgiving weekend World Cup. And when the results backed up what they saw in Aspen, Shiffrin got the call to join Olympians Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso, Sarah Schleper and Resi Stiegler at the Spindleruv Mlyn World Cup stop in the Czech Republic.
Needless to say, Shiffrin was appropriately named the 2011 Ski Racing Magazine Junior of the Year (formerly won by both Vonn and Mancuso) and also received the Eastern Ski Writers Association Golden Ski Award for the top junior in the East.
Since turning pro, Shiffrin has already amassed an impressive resume, snatching a Slalom World Championship, and Olympic gold medal and an Overall Season Title in 2013 along with four World Cup victories. Although she’s young, there’s no denying, Shiffrin can compete with the best of the best, and plans to do so for a long time to come.
Barilla, Red Bull, Oakley, Atomic, Leki, Reusch, Longines
Guitar, tennis, music, movies
Mt. Hood isn't a bad place to grow up, just ask Sammy Carlson. The park maestro grew up only a few minutes down the road in Tigard, Oregon. Being a local at the park and pipe summer camp mecca paid off, as Sammy started collecting big-time contest hardware by the age of 18 and went on to collect four X Games medals.
Perhaps more famously known for landing one of the first triple cork 1260s on skis, Carlson is renowned for super-progressive park skiing with an unreal rail presence. In recent years, however, his gaze has turned beyond the parks and resorts, to his favorite snow-covered playground: the backcountry. In 2013, he won an X Games gold medal in Real Ski Backcountry for his 90-second edit and he's been busy filming with Poor Boyz Productions for a project to be released in 2016.
Nike, Rockstar, Oakley, APO, Dakine, Skullcandy, Swix, Marker, Mt. Bachelor
Golfing, Skateboarding, Road Biking, Youtube, Building Random Things, Hanging With Friends
Henrik Harlaut is genuinely stoked on skiing. Whether he’s slaying handrails, winning slopestyle or big air contests or filming segments, Henrik loves to be on his skis. And it shows. He’s known for his silky smooth style, ability to make the unnatural seem simple and his constant pursuit for progress.
Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Henrik didn’t strap on his first pair of skis until he was 10 years old. But after seeing Jon Olsson take a lap though the park in Are, he was hooked. Influenced by Tanner Hall, Mike Hornbeck and Tom Wallisch, Henrik learned from the best and developed a style all his own. Now he’s skiing with and competing among the best in the world – and is considered part of that elite group. It’s convenient that his family is in the champagne business because Henrik is expected to be spraying many a bottle from the podium over the coming years.
Oakley, Armada, Monster Energy, Fulltilt, D-Structure.com, Blue-Tomato.com, Empire, Inspired Media Concepts
Skateboarding, Trampolining, Ice Hockey
Undoubtedly one of the biggest names in freeskiing, Simon Dumont began to make a name for himself at the age of 15. Just two years later he won his first Winter X Games Gold Medal and has remained one of the most fierce and talented competitors the sport has seen. A career wrought with so much competitive success has not come without its obstacles. Simon has suffered shattered ankles, a broken pelvis and collarbone, and a ruptured spleen, among countless other less severe injuries. Despite all the rehab and rebuilding of his body, nothing has been able to keep Simon off his skis for long or scare him into dialing back his degree of commitment.
His skill in the park is matched by his prowess in the backcountry. He’s regularly putting together stunning video edits and trying to present the sport in some new, spectacular way. Beyond the accolades and internal drive, Simon also possesses a unique style in his skiing that continues to inspire and push his peers as well as up-and-coming talents. The likelihood is he’ll continue to do so for many years to come.
Oakley, Red Bull, Empire, Head, Target, Toyota, Nike, Giro, Rockwell, Kicker, Sunday River, Seshn
Still early in his pro career, Alex Beaulieu-Marchand is just beginning to unveil all that he’s going to bring to skiing in the coming decade. A podium threat in contests, a dynamic urban rider for video parts and having just begun to dabble in backcountry riding, it’s impossible to define what ABM’s future will hold – but will certainly be worth paying close attention to.
Born and raised in Quebec, ABM was up on skis early and often, with regular weekend family trips to the local mountains whenever snow was on the ground. He made his debut on the international level competing at X Games in 2013 and earned his first major podium result at Dew Tour that same year in Slopestyle. Expect to see ABM upon many a podium in the contests and years to come.
Oakley, Monster, Volkl, Kombi, D-Structure
Maggie Voisin grew up in a small town in Montana and got her competitive skiing career started as a racer. After constant pressure from her twin brother, she opted to try freeskiing. Voisin owes her brother a ‘thank you’ – she found her calling.
Before she was even of age to get her driver's license, Voisin had proven to be a slopestyle phenom. Her 2013 rookie season was massive and included a win at the AFP World Championships in Whistler, B.C., Canada after throwing a huge switch left 900. She was named ESPN's Rookie of the Year. One of the youngest skiers on the U.S. Freeskiing Team, she lives and trains in Park City, Utah.
Stoked for the chance to contribute to the progression of the sport, Voisin is secretly working to perfect tricks never-before-thrown by a female in competition.
Oakley, Monster Energy, K2 Skis, Kellogg's Pop-Tarts, Whitefish Mountain Resort
Training, Traveling, Hiking, Dirt Biking, Hanging With Friends
Braden "Pep" Fujas' skiing is a multi-faceted reflection of his exploratory approach to life in general. Alpine, backcountry, side country, park, pipe, moguls, groomers — all are fair game. His wide-ranging approach has lead him to X Games competitions, more than 20 film appearances, and traveling the world to explore other cultures through skiing. But Pep says the backcountry is where he best achieves his unique riding style — effortless and aggressive, fluid and playful in any terrain.
Fujas has won “Breakthrough Performer", "Best Powder" and "Best Trick” at the Powder Video Awards. He's a regularly featured athlete in Poor Boyz Productions films and in 1997 he founded film production company Nimbus Entertainment with skiers Eric Pollard, Andy Mahre and Chris Benchetler.
Patagonia, K2, Oakley, Marker, Kicker, BCA, Quiverkiller, Arcade
Surfing, Mountain Biking, Fishing, Camping, Climbing, Backpacking, Bikes, Snowboarding
Growing up in a ski family, Tiril Sjåstad Christiasen knew she was going to be a skier. The choice was easy. By 11, she received her first pair of twin-tip skis. She followed the guys around the mountain, trying to mimic their style of riding and raise the level of her own. By 14 she was leaving Norway to compete and in 2013, she reached the pinnacle of competitive success in freeskiing, winning an X Games gold medal in Slopestyle in Aspen – which had been her goal from the day she first stepped into skis.
Now she’s traveling 200 days a year, mostly in the company of the Norwegian Team, training, competing and filming. She’s since added a second X Games gold – in front of her countrymen in Big Air in Oslo – to her collection and maintains a status as one of the most talented competitors in the sport today.
Back home in Norway, at the resort her grandfather built years ago, there’s a terrain park being constructed. In honor of Tiril's successes, it will be an ode to her: ‘Tiril Parken.’ Somewhere for the next generation to aspire to be the best.
Red Bull, Oakley, Peak Performance, Giro, Völkl, TomTom, DnB, TINE, Douchebags, Dalbello, Swix
Drawing, Mountain Hiking, Cross-Country Skiing, Cooking and Baking, Spending time with Family and Friends