When Roz Groenewoud won Women's Ski SuperPipe at Winter X Games Aspen this year, it was a bittersweet victory. It was the biggest win in Groenewoud's career, but her teammate and friend Sarah Burke wasn't there to celebrate with her. We spoke to Groenewoud from her home in Squamish, BC, recently about how she's coping with the loss of her friend and her plans heading into Winter X Games Tignes, coming up in March.
Describe what that week in Aspen was like for you.
It was super emotional and reflecting back on it seems kind of surreal in many ways. Since then, people have been congratulating me and saying things like 'You must have been so stoked when you found out you won.' And I'm not sure what to say, because I am super happy to win the biggest event of the year and super proud to be able to be pull it off. But happy? In no way. I didn't cheer at the bottom, I cried.
Is the reality of Sarah's loss setting in for you now?
It felt really real at X Games. She never missed a year at X Games. She was always such a presence there. The tribute to her in Aspen was beautiful and wonderful. But it was very hard to be there because you're forced to think about it. I think it will be the same at X Games in Europe. The reality will be so much more present. But it will be nice to be around everyone.
What is your plan for Winter X Tignes?
I'm pretty excited. I'm skiing well this year. Going into X Games in Aspen I was working on runs I knew I could land. Now that I've landed that run, there are tricks I've been doing on air bags and I'd like to start working on those. I have the freedom to try new things. Obviously I'd love to push it, land them and get another medal. I'm hoping between now and then, I'll be able to dial in my run. I landed a new trick at Dew Tour -- a really corked 5 left flair -- and I'd like to try that in France.
Who are some other women we should keep an eye on at Winter X Tignes?
My teammates Megan Gunning and Keltie Hansen, I enjoy watching them ski. All three of us have a different skiing style. We have different strengths. But we're all part of the same team. That's one of the most exciting parts of the Olympics -- when I watch the Olympics, I'm always going to be cheering for Canadians. It's exciting to have the idea of a whole country behind us.
You guys have a busy contest schedule this year, with a Grand Prix in Mammoth coming up at the end of February.
I'm excited to go to Mammoth. Next year, it will be really hectic with so many World Cups for Olympic qualifying. But to compete in new places -- it's always so exciting.
You're also in school studying math and physics. How do you balance it all?
I take classes in the fall and spring. And I'm doing a correspondent math course now. I do one course at a time. It has been overwhelming -- trying to do dryland and trips for sponsors, so I'm on a seven-year till graduation track to get my bachelor of science. I think I'd like to go graduate school for psychics. I'm also interested in biology and neuroscience. I read a lot of articles about those subjects and I've used that information to apply to my knowledge of the body, which helps as an athlete.