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With slopestyle making its Winter Olympics debut in the Russian city of Sochi in 2014, freeskiers everywhere are upping their game. Grete Eliassen is ahead of the curve. Raised in Norway, the 26-year-old returned to the USA, the land of her birth, and the snowy slopes of Salt Lake City, in 2005 to embark on a new way of training. “To be a good freeskier in the past, what you did was ski a lot,” says Eliassen. “But, in recent years, the sport’s really been professionalised; it’s getting more structured.
“Slopestyle consists of 15-25m jumps, rails and features called jibs that you do tricks off, so your whole body has to be prepared to take the physical force of all that. Now, 50 per cent of our training is on snow, 25 per cent is strength and conditioning, and 25 per cent is aerial awareness training on trampolines. But the creativity and freedom of freeskiing is still as strong as ever.”
Eliassen also focuses on what she eats, reaping the benefits of getting out of her body what she puts into it. “I have to be really strict with my diet,” she says. “Over the last couple of years, I’ve been working with a nutritionist from the US ski team and have noticed such a big difference. Getting your
own nutritionist is important, as the plan will be very different for each person. I’ll eat light and snack throughout the day, then at dinner I hammer down the protein, grains and vegetables.”
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