Maggie Voisin, 15, had the Olympic podium in her sights. On Friday, however, those dreams came crashing down when she fell and fractured her right fibula during a training run on the controversial Rosa Khutor Extreme Park slopestyle course. Her competitive spirit wasn’t crushed by the injury, however, and Voisin isn't giving up on her first Olympics.
As the youngest member of this year's Winter Olympic U.S. team, Voisin is staying in Sochi and simply trying to take it all in as a spectator. According to reports, she plans to stay at the Games through the closing ceremonies. The trek to Russia is a bucket-list adventure for the Whitefish, Montana, native—one she's been working toward all year.
Unlike many of the athletes Voisin was set to compete against, she's just emerging from within the sport of freeskiing. Pulling some of the biggest tricks in women’s slopestyle, her first big wins occurred just this past year and culminated with a silver medal at X Games Aspen this January. She’s dropping in on what is likely to be a lifelong career and is enjoying it every step of the way. When we caught up with Voisin when she was in Utah, still healthy and only two days away from making the journey to Sochi. Her optimism and excitement were shining through.
Speaking with her then, one could hear the enthusiasm in her voice and excitement for the upcoming Games. Underneath her poise, however, you hear the voice of a teenage girl who laughs at the idea of having vices or guilty pleasures. She's a kid, after all—albeit one who lives far from her family and goes to school online while she trains in Utah. She's at an age where it doesn't feel much like work.
Even injured, Maggie Voisin is a girl who simply enjoys where she is. Take a look.
My birthday is … Dec, 14, 1998.
My siblings are … I have a twin brother, Tucker. I have a 17-year-old brother named Michael and a 23-year-old sister named Kelsey.
Number of times I've been out of the country before Sochi (not counting Canada) … Maybe four times.
Thing I am most looking forward to about the Olympics … The experience. For me—and for everyone in my sport, I guess—it's going to be huge to see how it's all going to work out. I will be there for opening ceremonies and maybe closing. I haven't really decided how long I'm going to stay.
I'm also looking forward to going to hockey games and taking it all to my advantage. You never know if I'll be able to do it again.
The family who will join me on my trip to Sochi includes … My mom and dad, and my grandma will come, and then maybe my brother Michael.
The thing that freaks me out about the Olympics is … Just how big it is and how young I am. It doesn't freak me out, but it makes me nervous. For me, to be going at my age—it's just sort of overwhelming, but I'm really good at dealing with the pressure and the media. I just don't know what to expect yet, so it makes me nervous, but overall I'm more excited.
Before I drop in on a run, I always … Fist bump my coach and give him a big smile. I double check everything. I slap my skis down and make sure my bindings are in tight. Then, sort of mentally, I say, "Maggie, you got this. You got this." Then I take a really big breath, let it all out, and go.
When I feel overwhelmed, I … have to remember why I ski: because I love it, not for anyone else.
When I can't ski, I … Am usually doing schoolwork or kind of resting the body. In the summer I go home to Whitefish, Montana, and go hike peaks or go rafting. You know, kind of outdoorsy stuff.
When I need to relax, I … For me, it's going home. When I really need to relax and regroup everything, I like to go home. I see my friends and kind of forget about skiing for a bit. I like to remember that I'm 15 and that I still have my teenage life.
I am inspired by … Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen. She's the winner of last year's X Games. When she was at X Games and I saw how well she was skiing, and that she was a younger girl, I was like, “Dang, that's how I want to enter the industry—just hop right in.” People were like, "This girl's good. She's killing it." She's definitely been one of my inspirations.
My favorite workout is … Taking the ice bath afterwards. That's probably the best part. There's something about it. It's cold, but you feel really good. Especially the day after—you're kind of like, “Whew!” You don't feel it.
Three things that are always in my backpack or carry-on bag are … My iPod, a schoolbook, and then I always have something that has to do with skiing—goggles or a face mask. Oh, and my computer.
My favorite three musical artists on my playlist are … Lorde, Kendrick Lamar, and Rihanna.
Foods I can't live without … Pop-Tarts and pasta.
When I can't sleep, I … Am probably on my iPhone.
One place I'd really like to ski, but haven't, is … I want to go to Chamonix [France]. Or I really want to go to B.C. [British Columbia, Canada] and ski powder when I'm older. I'd like to do a cat trip or something in British Columbia.
On the plane, do you choose an aisle or a window seat? Window seat. Not just for sleeping, but also so I can look out the window.
A person, skier or not, who I'd love to ski with, but haven't, is … It'd probably be a celebrity. Maybe Liam Hemsworth?
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