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A day in the life: moguls skiing

21 March 2017

FREESTYLE SKIING: A lover of pump-up music and vegemite, Brodie Summers shares what it is like to be an elite moguls skier working towards qualifying for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

The Sochi 2014 Olympian ended the 2016/2017 World Cup series ranked eighth in the world for moguls skiing having podiumed twice in the season, winning silver at the World Cup in Thaiwoo and bronze in Dual Moguls in Deer Valley.

The 23-year-old narrowly missed out on a top-10 finish at the 2017 World Championships in Sierra Nevada, placing 11th in an extremely competitive field.

Day in the life of Brodie Summers

Warm up Bike

I leisurely wakeup alongside my teammate, Matt Graham (we always room together) before he heads straight to breakfast in the hotel lobby – always with the essential jar of Vegemite!

The men on the Aussie mogul team like to give ourselves plenty of time for meals. There is at least one hour allocated to meals - we must ensure there is enough time to play a couple of hands of cards. The conversation usually consists of thanking our graces that we don’t have to get up as early as the women, as well as some standard banter about the course and weather conditions.

After breakfast we usually get changed and begin our warmup immediately. The location for warmup can vary drastically. Sometimes the hotel has a designated area with enough space to perform our warmup routine but sometimes we are left to do it outside. More often than not though, we will do the warmup in the hotel corridors (we try to keep the noise level to a minimum).

Warm up Bike

Once Matt and I are back in the room however, the volume gets turned way up as we listen to our comp day pump up beats to get fired up! It’s generally a pretty quick turnaround from the time we finish warming up to leaving for the hill as we want to make sure our muscles don’t go cold again.

On the way to the course we generally have our headphones in, listening to our own music to get in the zone.

Once we arrive at the course we drop our bags and have a quick word to the coaches about conditions and how the girls have gone in their qualification. Then it’s straight up to the top for official inspection. This is usually 10 or 15 minutes where we get to check out the course and finalise any familiarization/visualisation needs that we may have. Training will start immediately after inspection and there’s usually enough time for two or three runs before qualifications start.

Check out the video of Brodie Summers winning silver at the World Cup in Thaiwoo, and standing on the podium with teammate Matt Graham who won bronze in China.

In moguls the top 30 ranked skiers are randomised in start order and then all other competitors after that are randomised. So I know that I’ll always be early on in the order, which is nice as it generally means my legs have still got enough fire in them from the training runs that I can carry through my qualification run. It is worth noting that a standard men’s field is usually anywhere between 50-70 guys.

Warm up Bike

If everything goes to plan I will have qualified for finals (top 16) and will have enough time for one training run before final 1. There’s usually a bit of a wait as they run the top 16 women first and then however many men qualified below you from the first round (as it’s done in reverse order from qualifications).

Once it’s my turn it’s all about trying to make that top 6 to get through to the medal round (aka the Super Final). Hopefully I make it through because it’s never nice to have an early lunch on comp day!

At the conclusion of the event there is always a podium ceremony (hopefully we’re a part of it) and then after that it’s a race back to the hotel to either get the recovery program started or pack our bags. It depends on whether we are competing again the following day, or if we are moving onto the next destination. It’s usually a sort of silent race to be the first one to finish packing your bags in our team!

Brodie Summers

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