Meet the next big thing in snowboarding.
Chase Josey has been snowboarding for most of his life and, now, he’s got his sights set on Olympic glory. The Idaho native is hoping to bring a brand-new streak of determination to snowboarding, boasting a bag of, literal, tricks that has plenty in the sport impressed.
Here’s everything you need to know about him:
1. Josey Is Making His Olympic Debut at PyeongChang
Such an honor getting to walk next to my closest friends and @teamusa 🇺🇸 🇰🇷 Opening ceremonies last night was something I’ll never forget! A powerful presence of peace and harmony was felt by everyone uniting us all thru clean sport on the most elite stage in the world. Feeling so blessed to be on this journey! THANK YOU SOUTH KOREA 🇰🇷 🙏🏼#itsnotthedestinationitsthejourney #futurepositive #peaceandharmony #united #mentalitycreatesreality
It’s been a dream come true.
Josey, 22, had always hoped, one day of becoming an Olympic athlete and, this year, it finally came true. The Idaho native cemented his spot on Team USA late – not sure of his berth until late January 2018 – but Josey was quick to admit how excited he was at the prospect of representing his country on the international stage. He told media after selections were made:
It came down to one event for me. I wanted to ride to the best of my ability and it ended up coming together for me at the last qualifier. We have a great team going and I’m glad to be part of it…Last year’s Olympic test event at PyeongChang was one of the best ones we had last season. There were good vibes there, and everything was truly up to par. We’ll try to bring a strong, positive attitude. We’ll be having life-changing moments in the next couple of weeks. Any one of us could bring home the gold. It should be fun.
Josey might be testing the Olympic halfpipe for the first time, but he still has reason to be confident. He captured bronze at the 2016 X Games and the 2017 Burton U.S. Open and, most recently, was named the 2017 Laax Open halfpipe champion.
2. His Father Taught Him to Snowboard
Josey grew up on a board. He got his start on the slopes of Sun Valley, Idaho and first honed his talent with the help of his father.
He told US Ski and Snowboard: “My dad [Bill] taught me to snowboard when I was five years old. He had just learned a couple years before, but must of made it look really cool because I wanted a go at it. After we went up Dollar Mountain and I made my first turns, there was no looking back.”
Josey joined the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation when he was eight years old, working with coach Andy Gilbert who immediately saw what the future Olympian was capable of. “Chase was a talent to begin with,” Gilbert told the Times-News. “He was extremely good from the get-go.”
Since then, it’s been a laser focus on just one thing – winning.
So far, so good for Josey whose got a serious support system back home while he competes in PyeongChang. His parents will be in the stands at the Olympics, but his mother, Kris, told an area newspaper that the family has gotten e-mails, texts and phone calls for the last few weeks from just about everyone they know.
3. Josey Considers Himself a Well-Rounded Athlete
Josey is almost always outdoors and almost always doing something active. If he’s not on his board then he’s camping or fishing or mountain biking or skateboarding. Take a quick look at his Instagram and it’s obvious – Josey needs to be doing something at all times.
In fact, Josey told Teen Vogue that his “hidden talent” is totally athletic related. “I try to skateboard, surf, mountain bike,” he said. “You know, I played soccer in high school. So, I’d say I’m fairly active, fairly coordinated with most things physically.” He also added that if he weren’t snowboarding he’d “still be playing some other sport, hopefully maybe in college.”
4. He’s Been Praised for Creative Tricks on the Halfpipe
Josey first broke onto the international scene at the Red Bull Double Pipe in 2015 and since then has developed a bit of a reputation – for technically sound and even more creative tricks. He’s always looking to push the limits every time he gets on his board and, according to US Ski and Snowboard, “has a technical bag of tricks that sets him apart from the field, including a switch double crippler, switch Michalchuk and switch backside 900.”
In fact, in the last three years, Josey’s signature has been the technicality, diversity and creativity of his tricks and his runs. He’s one of the few athletes in the sport right now who’s not only adept at spinning all four directions, but is trying to do just that in every run, while, at the same time, incorporating backside tricks as well.
Josey’s resume of tricks continues to grow as he just recently added a frontside 1260 during the offseason. Check it out:
5. Josey’s Breakout Moment Came at the 2017 Laax Open
The spotlight, finally, settled on Josey at the 2017 Laax Open where he and fellow American star Chloe Kim both notched dominant performances in the halfpipe. It was an eye-opening victory for plenty in the sport who’d been aware of Josey, but weren’t quite sure what he was capable of.
The then-21-year-old rider finished just shy of a perfect score, recording a total of five doubles in a row, including two switches on the same run. He also completed a double michalchuk to frontside double cork 1080 stalefish, switch double crippler indy, switch double michalchuck melon and a cab double cork 1080 mute in his final run, posting a 97.75 score.
Josey told Fis-Ski afterwards:
Winner of the LAAX OPEN 2017 sounds pretty special. It’s so cool. I dreamed of it, I’m so stoked. My third run was just full throttle. I just went for it. I gave it everything I had, and I was fortunate to land it. It worked out for me today.
It was the first major win of Josey’s pro career and helped up his confidence as he turned his attention towards PyeongChang.
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