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OFF THE JUMP – Yukon slopestyle skier Etienne Geoffroy-Gagnon goes off a jump during the slopestyle competition at the Mammoth Ski Resort in California on Saturday. Photo by ETIENNE GEOFFROY-GAGNON

Geoffroy-Gagnon competes in Quebec, California

There has been a lot of travel for Yukon slopestyle skier Etienne Geoffroy-Gagnon.

By John Tonin on March 15, 2019

There has been a lot of travel for Yukon slopestyle skier Etienne Geoffroy-Gagnon. He recently travelled from Mammoth Ski Resort in California where he competed in the slopestyle world cup to Quebec City for a big air world cup competition.

Geoffroy-Gagnon competed in the qualifications on Thursday and scored a 79.25. Throughout the season he said he has focused more on slopestyle than big air.

“Slopestyle being my main focus and not really working on the big air, it will be interesting,” said Geoffroy-Gagnon. “I’m still feeling confident.”

The Quebec City big air event differs from the others on the circuit because it happens downtown instead of on a mountain. The skiers go up scaffolding and it is all man-made snow on the jump. Geoffroy-Gagnon said it is a different feel than a mountain.

“I did it last year and landed my jump,” said Geoffroy-Gagnon. “It’s a lot different and the speed is different. There are more factors involved.”

Geoffroy-Gagnon just missed out on the finals which go tomorrow.

At Mammoth on Saturday Geoffroy-Gagnon competed in his stronger event, slopestyle.

He scored a 77.50 which placed him 22nd overall.

He said that the Mammoth competition is probably the most difficult on the tour.

“It is a bigger world cup so the Americans get a lot of spots,” said Geoffroy Gagnon.

“Mammoth is really hard.”

Mammoth has a unique feature which is hard to replicate in training.

“At Mammoth, there is a turn on the halfpipe,” said Geoffroy-Gagnon. “You only get to train this feature at Mammoth.”

As well as the unique feature Mammoth featured three rail elements and four jumps, compared to a competition like France, where Geoffroy-Gagnon competed earlier in the year, which has three jumps and two rails.

“It adds a lot more risk and a greater chance of messing up,” said Geoffroy-Gagnon.

“The four jumps means you have to spin in all four directions. It’s a little tougher at altitude but you just have to focus on your breathing.

“At the world cup, you always got to go for it. At this level of skiing you have to be at your best all the time.”

Geoffroy-Gagnon hasn’t made a world cup final since he competed in France. Even though he said it is difficult now he is seeing improvement in his skiing.

“When I look back I will see improvement even though it doesn’t feel like it right now,” said Geoffroy-Gagnon. “This level keeps pushing me. I’ve learned new tricks and done things I never thought I would do. We when I look back on the season it is the best I’ve ever skied.”

At the beginning of the season Geoffroy-Gagnon was only guaranteed one world cup but has done all of them. He said he is currently ranked 20th in the world and in the top 10 in Canada.

As his season continues on he said he is looking to keep his spot on the national team and continue to benefit from this level of competition.

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