(John Symms) The videos that came out of last year’s Jon Olsson Super Sessions made it an instant legend. For ten straight days, the world’s most elite park skiers enjoyed sunshine, huge jumps, and easy living. From an event promoter’s perspective, the 2008 premiere of JOSS couldn’t have gone better. But for a participant looking for an amazing experience and another chance to live the dream, JOSS’s initial wild success might have been its biggest downfall going into its sophomore season.
At this year’s contest, the tension was palpable from the beginning. The prize purse looked more like Any Mountain USA’s annual local big air contest ($20,000 divided by 5 team members is $4,000 per winner minus about $1,000 per flight to Scandinavia is about $3,000 per winner) than that of the biggest video contest in freestyle skiing. Still, seven five-man teams tiptoed around each other like gunslingers as they worked around the clock to win the prestige that goes along with winning a video contest that became what it was the year before.
Strike that. Make that six teams. Team USA, composed of skiers Colby West and John Symms, videographers Mike Thomas and Josh Finbow, and photographer Alex O’Brien, came with no intention whatsoever of winning the contest. The only goal was to have a great time — and to not get dead last. While the other teams scrambled in taxi cabs and Bobcats to fight the unfortunate weather conditions and fill out their videos with action shots of the most counterintuitive type of skiing known to exist, Team USA locked themselves in their hotel room (called “The Lab” in an obligatory homage to Dr. Dre) writing lyrics.
On premiere night, Team USA unveiled a rap video complete with original lyrics (with a little bit of skiing) to the crowd. And the crowd ate it up. The eruption of cheering that followed the world premiere of “My Friend Is A Pro” was loud enough to award Team USA the oh-so-presitgious (yet, completely without tangible prizing) People’s Choice Award.
Via: ESPN FreeSki Blog