Jessika Jenson, 26, will be competing in her second Olympics this year in South Korea.
Due to strong winds at Phoenix Snow Park, the women’s qualifying for the snowboarding slopestyle event was canceled. That means that on Sunday night, all 27 Olympic qualifiers will be hashing it out for a chance at the gold. Each competitor will only get two runs (as opposed to the standard three).
Here’s what you should know about Jenson.
1. She Learned How to Ski at Age 6
Jenson, an Idaho native, learned to ski when she was just 6. She tells Ober Delgado in a 2014 interview, “My parents and I would go up to Kelly Canyon every weekend as my grandma worked at the ski resort and got us free season passes.”
Jenson decided to switch to snowboarding at age 10, and started competing at age 14. “There was something about snowboarding that I loved,” she says. She never took snowboarding lessons, but Jessika tells usskiandsnowboard.org that her family would hit the slopes every weekend to “pretend to know what we were doing… we eventually caught on.”
On Sunday, the snowboarding qualifiers for snowboard slopestyle were canceled due to windy conditions. Jenson uploaded an Instagram photo to comment on the weather, writing, “Let’s try this again… due to the wind yesterday, we will have a 2 run final today at 6pm MST!”
2. She Admires Hannah Teter & Torah Bright
Speaking to Ober Delgado, Jenson explains that she looks up to competitors Hannah Teter and Torah Bright. She says the latter has been one of her “main influences” in the sport. “She is a proud LDS snowboarder, just like me. It’s not easy being LDS in the snowboarding industry, let alone it is very uncommon,” Jenson says. “There’s a lot of peer pressure, but I always stand up for what I believe in.”
On her website, Jessica lists the highlights of her career as: 2014 US Olympian, 8th at the 2013/2014 Copper Mountains US Grand Prix/World Cup, 5th at the 2013/2014 Brecenridge Dew Tour, 3rd at the 2013/2014 Mammoth Mountain US Grand Prix, 1st at the Billabong Flaunt-It-Finals, 9th at the 2013 World Championships, 2nd at the 2011/2012 Taho Us Revolution Tour, and a tour champion at the 2010/2011 Copper Mountain US Revolution.
Jessika has an impressive Instagram followign with over 11k followers. Most of her pics show her snowboarding, or at the very least, doing something sport-related.
3. She Placed 13th in the 2014 Sochi Olympics
Jenson, a graduate of Utah State University, is a two-time Olympian. She placed 13th in slopestyle at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
Jenson has competed well in World Championships, too. She placed 5th in big air and 6th in slopestyle. She participated in the World Championships in 2013, 2015, and 2017.
She tells NBC her most memorable sporting achievement to date has been competing at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
4. She Makes Neck Warmers in Her Spare Time
When she isn’t busy training, Jenson makes neck warmers called J!Wow Nekk Armor.
Jenson tells NBC her sporting philosophy is, “Life is too short not to make the best and the most of everything that comes your way every day.”
Jessika had a strong 2016 season; she made the podium at two elite events. She placed third at the Corona World Championships and second at the Mammoth Mountain US Grand Prix.
5. Her Hobbies Include Wakeboarding, Mountain Biking & Dirt Biking
According to teamUSA.org, Jenson has many talents and hobbies outside of snowboarding. She’s a fan of dirt biking, wake boarding, and mountain biking.
Jenson’s interest in sports has led to a few injuries along the way, unfortunately. She was plaued with with injuries during the 2012/2013 season, and the 2013/2014 season.
Her signature trick on the snow? A frontside 720.