Athlete Interview: Gus Kenworthy

Posted April 26, 2012 @ 10:39pm | by George Michaelsen

Gus Kenworthy

Getting in a good habit of interviewing Skiers right after they do something sick, we're gonna have to keep this up. This time Gus Kenworthy did something really pretty sick, learned Alley-oop Dub Flat 9's in the Pipe, killed it at Nine Knights and won Slopestyle and Big Air at WSI (World Skiing Invitational).  After doing all that he took sometime to answer some questions.  Here we go!

TSM: How old were you when you decided you wanted to ski as your profession?

Gus: When I was really young I actually wanted to be a professional hockey player and for a short time I wanted to be a professional soccer goalie too.  I've always loved sports, skiing especially, and I guess I was about 14 when I decided that I wanted to ski professionally for the rest of my life. I picked up my first sponsor when I was 16 and I think that was the first time that I actually believe that I could do it.

TSM: Was there a skier that you looked up to for inspiration at the time? Are there any skiers you still look up to now?

Gus: Growing up TJ Schiller was a major influence on me.  I wanted to be just like him and I bought his pro model Orage puffy, Anon goggles and Red helmet, and I used to watch his video parts over and over again.  There are a ton of skiers that I look up to nowadays, but it's a lot different now because they are my friends.

TSM: Can you walk us through a normal day in your life right now?

Gus: The past few months have been chalk full of competitions and at the moment I'm at a Vitamin Water training camp, so it's pretty hectic still.  Here's my schedule from yesterday: wake up at 6:45, shower, eat breakfast and get out of the house by about 7:45.  Get to the mountain just after 8 and start lapping the pipe around 8:30.  I skied pipe until about 11:15, learned a new trick Alley-oop Dub flat 9 (Watch it below) , ate lunch and then hit the jump for a half an hour or so until we got rained out.  Got back to the house just before 1.  Golfed 9 holes in the afternoon, it was only my 3rd time golfing ever but I'm starting to get pretty into it!  I got invited to a golf tournament this summer so I'm trying to tune up my game in time.  Then came back to the house, sat in the hottub for a bit and had dinner around 6.  I'm reading the hunger games series at the moment and I'm pretty hooked on them, and I read for about an hour after dinner and then hung out on my computer until about 10 when I went to bed.  Not really all that exciting, haha. 

TSM: Exactly how dizzy do you get after a slopestyle run?

Gus: I think that you have to be grounded while you're spinning in order to get grounded.  Not sure, but I don't think that I've ever gotten dizzy after a contest run.  Sometimes I get really nervous and forget to breathe during my run and when I get to the bottom I'm out of breath and feel like I'm going to puke though, hahah.

TSM: How was Nine Knights?

Gus: Nine Knights was sick!  The jump that they had built for the contest was beautiful and definitely made for some really cool shots.  They had a slideshow the last night with some of the pictures that the photographers took over the week and I was in a lot of them which I was really happy about!  My fingers are definitely crossed that I'll have a few in next year's magazines!

Gus Kenworthy Nine Knights 2012

TSM: Tell us a little about your recent win in the Big Air and slopestyle events at WSI

Gus: WSI was awesome!  They did a super good job building and maintaining all of the features and I felt really comfortable throwing down on them.  It was definitely a pretty amazing weekend for me!

TSM: You have landed some of the hardest tricks in the sport today so far. Which would you say was the hardest one to get?

Gus: Last summer at Camp of Champions I did the first double off of a rail and I think that I would probably say that it was the hardest trick that I've done.  It took me only a handful of tries to get but I definitely beat myself up pretty good trying it and it was one of the scariest tricks I've ever attempted.

TSM: Are you working on any film projects this year?

Gus: Not really, unfortunately.  I would have loved to have filmed more this year but it was hard trying to make time for it.  I'm hoping to go to a few park shoots this spring with either PBP or MSP but we'll see whether or not it works out.

TSM: Where is your favorite place that skiing has taken you?

Gus: I've gone to New Zealand at the end of the summer for the past few years and it's definitely a pretty incredible place.

TSM: With all of the gnarly tricks you’ve got on lock, is there a personal favorite?

Gus: I really like doing dub 12's they're pretty fun.  I started mixing up the grabs that I can do in them this year and it's become one of my favorite tricks for sure!

TSM: Any words of advice to the kids looking up to you?

Gus: Just ski your heart out and work as hard as you can to keep progressing but try not to think too much about the other stuff.  First and foremost, keep it fun!  The moment you start getting too hung up about getting sponsored and turning pro and everything is the moment you begin to lose sight of why you got into the sport in the first place.

TSM: Any shoutouts?

Gus: Big shout out to all my sponsors, and my fans I couldn't do it with you!  My friends back at home and all the ones on the road.  Robin Macdonald for putting up with me all year long and helping push my career as much as possible.  George knowles.  Most importantly my family and lastly my agent, Spencer.  

Thanks for taking the time to answer all my questions during your busy schedule man, and congrats on all the success.  We'll catch up again soon.  Make sure you follow Gus on Twitter @Guskenworthy.

That new trick Gus mentioned earlier is ridic---u-lous.  Alley-oop Dub Flat 9. 

And check out this full edit with Mr. Gus Kenworthy at Breckenridge.

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