On a warm sunny day, during the #DeerValleySummer, I headed out of the office and caught up with Bryon and Brad Wilson at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah. It was my first time at the Utah Olympic Park and I was surprised to see so many skiers jumping off of ramps into water and then swimming to the edge of the pool with skis on. Air bubbles, operated by a Utah Olympic Park employee, softened landings into the pool. I thought this was an ingenious idea.
For those of you who might not know, Deer Valley Resort sponsors Bryon and Brad Wilson, two of the current U.S. Freestyle Ski Team athletes. Deer Valley began sponsoring Bryon in 2010 and in 2012 added Brad to their roster of athletes. I wanted to know what it took to be a world-class athlete and how a winter athlete trains when the snow melts.
Ryan: How do you guys train during the summer?
Bryon: We have a great facility at the Utah Olympic Park, where I spend a lot of my time.There are many ways for us to access crucial training time nowadays. Later this summer, we will be in Whistler BC, Canada, getting some snow time on the glacier.
Ryan: As brothers do you always train together or do you have different training techniques?
Brad: We always train with each other, which is really nice because we are constantly pushing each other.
Ryan: How often will you be at the Utah Olympic Park training?
Bryon: We can get a good two months at the Utah Olympic Park. I really enjoy training up here.
Ryan: What is the biggest difference jumping into water instead of onto snow?
Brad: Jumping in water allows you to crash without the consequences you have crashing on snow. And a lot of crashing is involved when learning a new trick.
Ryan: What do you wish to improve upon, going into next ski season?
Brad: I am currently ranked fourth overall and there is a lot I need to work on to be in that top spot. Improving my jumping skills is going to be a major focus this summer.
Bryon: I’m always looking to push my abilities to the next level and learn something new to help myself improve.
Ryan: Looking back on the last ski season, what stands out the most for each of you?
Brad: The Olympic experience stands out the most for me. Being able to compete in the Olympics has been a dream ever since I started competing.
Bryon: One thing that stands out for me every year is competing at Deer Valley Resort in front of huge crowds. I also love Champion ski run.
Ryan: What do you guys do for fun, when you are not skiing?
Bryon: We got into mountain biking since we moved to Park City, also golfing and fishing.
Brad: The thing I do most is art; I think it’s the perfect thing to do to relax in between training sessions.
Ryan: How did you get into art, Brad?
Brad: Being from Montana, we grew up in the outdoors. Everything we did, we did outside. But the art is just something I was inspired to start doing and have been trying to perfect ever since.
Ryan: What do you have coming up in the next few months?
Brad: Off-season training is in full force. It is going to be very busy until the snow falls. We’re in Whistler this summer for three weeks, we go to Mount. Hood for a week, then Chile for two and a half weeks. Next, we go to Switzerland in September for another three weeks. Between these camps, we will be spending our time at the Utah Olympic Park.
Have you ever gone off the ski jumps at the Utah Olympic Park? Tell me about it in the comments below or on Twitter @RyanMayfield or @Deer_Valley and don’t forget to keep up with the Wilson brothers on Twitter; Bryon @BryonWilson10 Brad @Wilsfreestyle