Chatting with the Pros: Skier Maggie Voisin on Prepping for the Olympics

The 2022 Winter Olympics are right around the corner! Ski Expert Patrick G. sat down with freeskier Maggie Voisin to chat about how she's preparing for her big moment.

Maggie Voisin jumps on her skis.

Photo courtesy of K2

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It was a joy to sit down and talk with Maggie Voisin. There was a lot that we chatted about but even more that I took away from our conversation. Honestly, I just kept thinking back to how impressed I was with Maggie. Of course, I wanted to chat with her because she’s a professional skier, an Olympian, and (at the time) a Beijing hopeful. I’m happy to share that she has since qualified for Beijing 2022!!

Sure, that was why I was interviewing her and what I was interested in. If you don’t know me, I love the Olympics, so I was going to try not to totally fanboy out. While we did get to chat about Beijing, my main takeaway from Maggie was that while she is a phenomenal skier, as a person she’s just as world-class.

From the beginning to the end, she was wonderful to talk to. Watch our conversation below or read on to see what we chatted about.

Here’s how it went!

Welcome everybody to Curated. My name is Patrick Graham, and I'm a Ski Expert at Curated. And today, I'm talking to Olympic freeskier and X Games gold medalist, Maggie Voisin.

Something extremely exciting that you're prepping for is the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing. I feel like a lot of people are still decompressing from the Summer Tokyo Games, but how are you feeling about that?

Yeah, I am so, so excited. It's hard to believe that it's already been four years since the last Olympics. It's truly fun.

Yeah, it was fun to have a Summer Olympics back to back.

Unfortunately for those athletes, to get pushed back a year would be super challenging, but it was motivating to just watch an Olympics going. Now, we're headed into a Winter Games. So I'm super excited! As I said, I'm just looking forward to winter and everything that it has to offer. It's gonna be a good season.

For sure! I always know with events that are this far away—or anything far away—they tend to creep up on you. How do you mentally prepare for something that far away?

Yeah, that's a really wonderful question 'cause this summer, I was like, “Okay, we're still half a year away.” Now that it's fall, it's like, “Oh my gosh! It's close…it's really close. I feel like, for me, this is something that I've had to learn throughout my entire career. It's more of a mindset that the Olympics are coming.

But for me personally, if I'm stressed about the Olympics or worried about making the Olympics, or maybe even excited, I just need to put one foot in front of the other, focus on what I need to do that week or that month.

Right now, it's not just the Olympics. It's the Olympic qualifiers. I just need to take it day by day, event by event. That for me is the best way to do it; for me, it’s the least stressful way to do it.

Maggie skis down a yellow rail. Green, tree-covered hills are visible below her.

Photo coutesy of K2

So what does that look like? What's up next for you event-wise? What are you looking forward to right now?

So in about a week, week and a half, two weeks, I'm going to be headed back to Europe. I'll be in Austria. We have our first event of the season. It's a World Cup. It's in Stubai which is a glacier in Austria. So I'll go out with a ski team, and we'll train two weeks prior to the event. Yeah, the first contest of the year—which is crazy—but I'm really looking forward to that!

Then, we'll come back to the states and our U.S. tour will start. In early December, we have a Big Air, and then in the middle of December, we have Dew Tour, which will be an Olympic qualifier. All of these will go towards our Olympic qualifying, at least for us in the US. January is busy with a couple more Olympic qualifiers, X Games. Then, if I make the Olympic team, we roll right into Beijing!

Have you been to Beijing before to ski?

So I have not skied in Beijing, but I did go prior to the pandemic. I was able to go out with a sponsor at that time. We went for three days, and we got shown all around Beijing. It's a four-hour drive to the Secret Garden. That's where at least Slopestyle will be held. So we got to go there and see what the venue will look like, which was a really really cool experience. That was my first time in China as well. And we did get to go to the Great Wall and all that. So it was a really fun trip!

One thing about Beijing too, it's cold—like cold cold! I'm not from the East Coast, but that's how people describe Korea. Because when we got there for the last Olympics, it was freezing as well. They're like, “It's kind of that East Coast, humid to freezing cold,” if that makes sense. Like chilly to the bone! So that's one thing I have to mentally prepare for.

Speaking of Pyeongchang and the last Olympics—now you're a veteran Olympian! What does that mean to you?

Yeah, more than anything, just looking back, I am so grateful for my entire career and being able to have gone to the last two Olympics. Which is crazy to think that if I make this team, this will be my third Olympic Games.

So I feel like more than anything, it's just such an honor to go represent your country, let alone the sport of freeskiing. But then also just for myself, just to see how far I've come in my career as well! With the ups and downs that I've been through and the fact that I'm still here, I'm still fighting for another Olympics. Just feeling grateful for everyone that's really supported me—friends, family, sponsors, all of that.

It's just really exciting, and more than anything, no matter what the journey is gonna look like, just being grateful for whatever happens, and for my health, and that I get to do what I love every day.

Maggie sticks her tongue out for a snow-covered selfie. She has a GoPro on her helmet.

Photo by Maggie Voisin

Heck yeah. Definitely at Curated, we're gonna be rooting for you for sure.

We talked about how you prepare for something that's so far away. But let's talk about preparing right before an event. It doesn't have to be the Olympics, but right before any event, what are you doing to mentally prepare for something that is so important to you?

Yeah! More than anything, I take the same approach to any event, no matter if one feels bigger or smaller. I get super nervous about the X Games because I love the X Games! I'm probably more nervous than I would be for a World Cup, let's say.

But I try to really just keep the same mindset going into each event. No matter what training looks like, or if I'm loving a course or not, or maybe the weather has been bad. So, realizing that controlling what I can control and really just trying to make the most of it, and stay as positive as I can. Like, “Okay, yeah, this weather might not be great, but how can I make the most of this training?"

Preparation the night before—I'm really into mindfulness. So I love to write in a journal the night before a contest. I just write everything out on paper. It's different every time that I journal, but that's something that I've been doing for the past several years. It's a fun thing to look back on as well.

I don't have any superstitions or anything like that when I go into an event. But the morning before, I'm not someone who's gonna listen to crazy music. I almost feel like I have to just listen to music that feels good, but won’t pump me up too much. I have to be more in a level state.

Right before, say I'm in the start gate or the training right before the event, I’m trying to get back to level. So I do a lot of non-specific breathwork, but really just focusing on my breath when I feel like I need to bring myself down a little bit. Every time before I drop in for a run, I take a deep breath, and then on my exhale, I drop in.

Maggie jumps and crosses her skis in their air, bringing her legs up to her chest. A tall mountain peak is visible in the background.

Photo by Dave Euler

That just put me in your mindset there. That's amazing. I'm really wondering what this song is? What's a song that will level you out but not pump you up too much? When I'm seeing athletes like yourself at the starting gate, I'm just picturing the most pumped-up music out there. So what do you have in those headphones?

Well, first off, the most fun part is that every athlete is so different in our sport. I mean, that's all sports too. Some people are up there pumping themselves up, and I love that. I'm not someone who's doing that! For me, I just have to really be chill.

I'm up there, and I'm cheering on all the other girls. That's the best part about what I get to do is the camaraderie within the sports. So I'm up there, I'm pumped up, but I'm not like, "Whoa! Let's go!" Like crazy, crazy. And I actually don't listen to music when I ski. I'm one of few!

I need to hear my skis on the snow and my skis on the rails. I've always been that way. I've tried to ski with headphones a couple of times, and it has not gone well, and maybe that's my superstition! A lot of people are shocked by that though. They're like "Everyone in your sport listens to music." And I'm like, "No, not me."

So you had mentioned cheering on the other competitors and the other girls up there. How does that play into the entire experience?

That to me is one of the number one reasons why I love what I do. I've been such good friends with all the girls I've competed against, since the beginning. Some of them, I grew up competing with, and now we're teammates on the U.S. team or they're maybe on different teams. But like I said, that's what I believe is so amazing about freeskiing. We're all cheering each other on at the top!

Of course, we all wanna individually do our best, but I also want those other girls to go out and ski just as well. We get to pump each other up and fuel each other's fire, which is really fun.

Then, off-hill as well, we all hang out. We all go to dinners, and we all celebrate together at the end of events. It's a really special friendship that I have with all of these people. To me, that's what makes what I do so so so fun.

The image is taken through a blue net fence as Maggie flips off of a ramp.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Freeskiing

That's a dream for a lot of people, so I think that's really special. There are a lot of younger athletes that are really aspiring to be where you are or they wanna grow up and compete in the Olympics. What advice would you have for somebody that's aspiring to do that?

Oh, gosh, there's so much that I could say, but I feel like the number one piece that I would say—and I feel like it's something that I would go back and tell my younger self—was to really just focus on myself and what I need to do.

What's best for me? It's so easy to get caught up in “What is this person doing? What is that person doing?” You can always draw inspiration from other people, but remember why you started the journey or why you're in this sport.

This can apply to anything—in athletics or just life in general. But, when you really are able to find your passion and why you love something, I completely believe that you're gonna be that much more successful. So yes, it's easy to stress out about certain things, but when you can really remember that, “Okay, I do this because I love it.”

“Remember why you do what you do, and always come from a place of passion and love.”

Personally, for me, my career and how far I've come, I really believe that's why I've been as successful as I have. So the most important thing is just to focus on you and what you need. Remember why you do what you do, and always come from a place of passion and love. And the sky's the limit.

You're doing breathwork and journaling, and you've talked about mindfulness. Is there anything that helps in addition to that in your life?

Yeah, I feel like it’s in everything that I do. Whether it seems maybe more physical or more mental, they really tie into each other. I feel like it just goes back to anything in life: if you're mentally off or physically off, you're just out of balance. I feel like for me when I'm skiing—and especially going into an Olympic year—I need to be 100% balanced, physically, mentally.

Maggie stands up on a snowmobile and tilts her head, posing for the camera in her helmet.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Voisin

Balance is something we should all strive to achieve each day. How can we find peace between the different demands of our lives? How can we be the best that we can be? After speaking with Maggie, I felt the urge to be a bit more mindful.

Her words and advice ring true whether you’re an aspiring Olympian or not! No matter your goals or profession, Maggie’s mindset is something that we can all live by.

As we roll into Beijing, may we all find that needed balance and focus on ourselves. Me, I’m not worried about Maggie finding that balance, as her toolbox runs deep. However, if it should help in any way, know that all of us at Curated will be cheering Maggie and Team USA on this February!

Now if you’re looking for that perfect setup to keep you a bit more balanced out on the mountain, reach out to one of our many Ski or Snowboard Experts here on Curated! The Olympic motto “Citius, Altius, Fortius: Communiter”, translates to “Faster, Higher, Stronger: Together”. Let’s honor that belief as we find you some gear and set you off on your own journey of passion and greatness, together.

Ski Expert Patrick G.
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I often tell people that if I could ski everyday of my life I would. A few years ago, I did ski every month of the year in Colorado and that was something I was really grateful for! Even if it is just 20 turns on a glacier it’s better than not skiing at all! I’ve been skiing for a long time, held jo...

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