A Phone Call With FWT Champion Crystal Wright
By Brigid Mander | April 10th, 2012
Crystal Wright and the McConkey Cup. Photo courtesy of Crystal Wright.
This year’s Freeskiing World Tour was full of ups and downs, cancelled and rescheduled competitions, and as always, indefatigable shredders. Topping off the season with a dramatic bang last weekend was the dead-heat on the women’s side of two very strong, but very different skiers, Crystal Wright and Angel Collinson.
Tied for the overall lead of the tour with no other competitor even close, the 2012 tour champion would be whoever came out on top at Kirkwood–making it a high-stakes contest indeed, with all eyes on Collinson and Wright. In second place to Collinson entering her final run on day two, Wright skied a fast, solid line with numerous smaller features, a technical air into a ravine, and eked out a two point lead for the win, the McConkey Cup, and the 2012 tour title.
Wright immediately headed back to France, where she had interrupted a ski mountaineering trip to fly to California and compete. We caught up with her on the tarmac, and she gave TGR the inside story until the flight attendants made her get off the phone for take-off.
Wright on the podium beside Nat Segal and Angel Collinson. Photo courtesy of Crystal Wright.
I’m on my way back to Chamonix, I had planned on spending the whole month there. I’m getting more experience in glacier travel, couloirs, crevasses, and doing some alpine climbing as well.
But then whole thing with the tour happened, Kirkwood was delayed until now, and I was tied with Angel for the tour title. So I’m glad I came to compete, it was definitely worth it. Now I’m heading back to Chamonix to finish my trip–I had been planning this for a year!
When I came over here, I competed in Verbier, and then we did a hut trip, and then went to La Grave for three days before Kirkwood. La Grave has a powerful effect on me – the people, the mountains, it was really good for my head before the competition.
The first day of the comp, I was really, really, jetlagged. But then second day, I found my fire and my energy. I knew I had to step it up. I just really wanted to showcase my strengths, going fast and straight-lining down chutes.
There was a lot of pressure. The media and the cameras on us made it hard; everyone was focused on me and Angel. We both safetyed our lines a little on day 1, so we’d have a shot at day 2.
I was so nervous at the start on the final day. I was just listening to music, I had to calm myself down. I had a lot of jittery nerves. But as soon as I got in the start gate I calmed down. I knew my line really well, so that helped. I was a lot happier to be down at the finish though–I am not going to lie about that!
It was so cool to win the event! It was a dream come true. I’ve gotten a ton of second places, but I haven’t won a lot. My hard work finally paid off!
The McConkey Cup is a big silver cup. It is a pretty amazing honor to have it. To me it is about all the amazing skiers we’ve lost, all these inspiring people who have helped us.
Location: California France Kirkwood CA France Chamonix FR-FR Keywords: Featured Ski Athlete Features