Love college parties? Love snowboarding? This is the spring break for you...
Anakie is proudly sponsoring Sun n’ Snow Fest 2013, held March 14th-17th at Cranmore resort in New Hampshire.
This is the way to spend your spring break! With discounted skiing, lodging, dining, and shopping for those with a college ID, live music all weekend, and much much more!
For more details check out the website http://sunnsnowfest.com or follow them onTwitter for more updates: @SunNSnowFest
Anakie at Mountain Creek
Check out Anakie rider Eva Bonner in the latest SnoCountry Snapshot from Mountain Creek, looks like good times Eva!
Katie's Olympic Journey
The Sochi Winter Olympics are over a year away, but as the current competition season heats up Anakie team rider Katie Tsuyuki is more focused than ever. We caught up with her to hear more about how she got to where she is today and how she is preparing to represent Canada at Sochi 2014…
Where did it all begin, how did you first fall in love with halfpipe?
I fell in love with the half pipe because it was so close to wakeboarding. I grew up on the water spending a lot of time waterskiing and wakeboarding. I actually dreamt about waterskiing and wakeboarding at Sea World when they still had show skiing. At a young age I was a show skier doing water ski ballet lines, pyramids, the clown show (which required jumping on a passing skier climbing all over them before wrapping my legs around them, taking the handle to be the link between them and the tow line…and we had to make it look “funny”), and wakeboarding in the shows. I also competed in wakeboarding, I had a blast and I loved doing that, but once half pipe became a big Olympic sport it made more sense to follow that route. There was more support in snowboarding and the skills were very transferrable.
What is your favorite trick in the pipe? Your strength in contest runs?
My favorite trick is a frontside handplant, I was pretty freaked out to try it but once I did a few I found they were so much fun. I would categorize myself as a technical rider with a big bag of tricks. I am consistent in contests and that always pays off.
When did you decide that competing in half pipe at the Olympics was your goal?
I didn’t think the Olympics were actually attainable until my early 20s when I met some people on the Canadian national team. There wasn’t much guidance when I was getting into snowboarding and I was older then the current average starting age; it was different from how it is now. There are more coaches and programs to help guide the youth to their goals. I was doing it by trial and error, not the fastest way to learn, but you do learn.
How have you set out to achieve this? And how important is planning?
Antoine de St-Exupery said “A goal without a plan is just a wish”; this is even truer for Olympic goals. I have sat with knowledgeable people who have been in or have helped people in my place to make plans for my physical, mental and tactical training. We have also considered needs for my branding and sponsorship for my journey to the Winter Games. Planning is huge and we do it about once a month to make changes where they are needed to adjust to things like weather and schedule changes. I went into the 2010 games a bit blind and naive, and made it as an alternate. Now I have a team who I trust and I plan on coming out of 2014 as an Olympian. These two things are the best I can ask for…a plan and a killer team.
Thus far I have consistently stayed within the top three Canadians at contests, placing top Canadian in the last World Cup in New Zealand. Over the next year I will at least have to be top Canadian at contests and place at least top 16 at all the World Cups, these are the minimums. As for training…That’s easy…I just train my ass off everyday for the next 450 days and counting down. Everyday is a day to improve!
Why are the Olympics so special?
For now, the Olympics are my main goal. It has been a dream for a long time…even if I didn’t know it was this possible I believe it was always in the back of my mind. I have always loved watching both Summer and Winter Games and have looked up to all the athletes who compete at that level.
What hurdles have you had to overcome to get to where you are now with your snowboarding? It would not have been easy both mentally and physically.
I have over come some real hurdles to get this far. I had years of wakeboarding habits ingrained in me that I had to break, and I didn’t always have good coaching to help me do that. Dealing with my national snowboard federation hasn’t been easy; I was really discouraged after the 2010 Olympics. Our nation only earned 3 quota spots when we should have had four, and it was all due to pettiness and disorganization. I was ready to give up then, but my family and boyfriend pushed me to go on. Which brings me to where I am now, and is why I am extra grateful to have these people in my life.
As for the physical side, I have always been into fitness so I have stayed strong over the seasons. Still I over came a torn Achilles tendon and several sever ankle sprains. I believe that the best offence is a good defense, so keeping in the gym is the key to staying on snow.
What type of routine do you keep? And how important is your training schedule?
Outside sports can be tricky for training. A lot of the time you have to train around the weather schedule, so some weeks may be a cycle of three days on then a day off or five days on and two days off. I get in the gym about four to five days a week depending on how long I ride for. During the off snow season I gym train about six days a week. In the gym I train a lot of strength, power, and lactic acid threshold exercises.
Schedules are important to me but so is flexibility. You never know what can come up with snowboarding, like unexpected powder days, so you can’t let it mess with your head. If I needed a fixed schedule I would have stuck to swimming.
What is you favorite place that the sport has taken you to so far? and where do you hope it will take you in the future?
My favorite place snowboarding has taken me is Japan. I love the culture, landscapes, food, and how civil they are. Nothing is better then riding hard all day, having tea and rice crackers waiting for you in your room, going to the onsen or bath house to soak in a hot spring, then eating amazing food that was prepared with care. I feel extra connected because of my Japanese heritage. I can’t wait to get back there in the future.
I am really excited to get to Russia for the test event and for the Games. It will be interesting to see what life is like over there.
Who do you train with? Team? friends?
I have a coach, Crispin Lipscomb, a 2006 Olympian and a past World Cup rider. I value his advice and coaching because he has been in the game as an athlete, and he knows a lot about snowboarding technically and spiritually. I like to train with anyone who can stay stoked, works hard, and doesn’t complain. Problems are just puzzles waiting to be solved. I love hanging with the Japanese crew, Yuki Furihata, Soko Yamaoka, and Akiko Miwa are to name a few. The Chinese girls are pretty awesome too; Jiayu Liu and I have become pretty close. I really dig learning about their cultures and languages, and I end up being an English advisor as well.
When you are not snowboarding do you like to do with your time?
I really like to present a workshop I have developed about helping people find passion in their lives and showing them that anything can be achieve though a good work ethic. I present a lot to elementary schools and youth groups wherever I can. I believe this is overlooked in life and the youth need to know how find their passions and why it is important to have them. I love getting the responses after and seeing how I have given them a good idea on how to enrich their lives or even change them. I always feel like I am glowing after presenting.
What about your own inspiration from? Who do you draw that from?
I draw a lot of my inspiration from my family. My grandparents were from Japan and were put into internment camps during World War II when they were young. They still persevered to own a successful business, which they built from the ground up, and is now on to the third generation. I look up to them and my parents who were the ones to take the business to the next level. They have always shown me that anything is possible. In the snowboarding world I look up to Soko Yamaoka, one of the wisest and best half pipe riders I know. I try to model after her work ethic.
I am also grateful for Shaun White. I know there is a lot of hype but riders get caught up in the hype and hate and forget that we would not be making it the way we are if it wasn’t for him. Shaun brought snowboarding to everyday people and those people spend money, which trickles down to us the riders. This is just the truth and we need to recognize it. Shaun is good for business, but I am not going to lie, I get a little freaked out seeing his face all over Target and on gum wrappers.
Who is there supporting you on this journey? How important are these people to your success?
As for my personal support I have some great partners behind me. Sony Canada, Signal Snowboards, Scott Goggles, Ifound, Kinisi, Iyashi Spa, Make-A-Wish Canada, Avalon7, and of course Anakie are always willing to help me out in what ever way they can. I also have my coaches, trainers, family, friends, all my Twitter and Facebook followers, and a compassionate boyfriend who have my back when ever I need them and beyond. I honestly would have never gotten this far if it wasn’t for all of these people who support me and what I do. I am proud to have an awesome team who care and only want to see me succeed. They all make me confident going into qualifying for and competing at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.
We wish Katie great success in the coming year! And will check back with her later in the season to see how the contests wrapped up for her.
In the meantime make sure you checkout her website http://www.ktathletics.com