Brita Sigourney flying to victory at Dew Tour in Breckenridge (Alli Sports)
It’s not as if Brita Sigourney was a novice entering the recent Winter Dew Tour. After all, the skier had multiple podiums over the past two years in Dew Tour and X Games.
Then again, she was hardly a favorite, since the Breckenridge event was Brita’s first competition after tearing an ACL and undergoing months of rehab. On second thought, maybe that recovery process was an advantage for the U.S. Freeskiing team member, sponsored by Swany Gloves at Dew Tour.
“Because of all the rehab, I feel strong,” Brita said. “And people are saying I look really strong out there.”
Brita rocks some Toast 3N1 mitts from Swany Gloves at the Dew Tour
That’s an understatement. The athlete won her semifinal heat in Women’s Ski Superpipe and then scorched the field in the Dec. 14 finals with a first run so strong that Brita was able to enjoy a pressure-free “victory” run the second time down the pipe.
Brita explained that how she injured the knee contributed, in its own way, to her successful comeback. “It wasn’t that hard mentally to return because I didn’t (injure myself) in the pipe, I did it freeskiing. So there really wasn’t an issue mentally getting back into the pipe.”
The California-born skier noted that she works hard not to enter events with out-sized expectations, anyway. “I try not to put pressure on myself going into a competition. And here, I just wanted to start getting back to where I was before my injury.”
The victory will certainly raise Brita’s profile going into the U.S. Grand Prix Jan. 9-12 in Copper Mountain and Winter X Games Jan. 24-27 in Aspen. While Brita acknowledged the added attention coming her way, she is focused on a more distant goal: the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, where ski pipe will be included for the first time.
“The qualifying events are next year,” Brita said, when asked how much pressure she will feel at the upcoming events. “So the main goal for all of us (on U.S. Freeskiing) is to stay healthy this season“
That’s easier said than done: 11 of 22 team members had knee injuries last season. Brita, 22, has endured four operations already in her career. In addition to her ACL, she’s suffered a broken collarbone, shattered knee and a broken pelvis.
That’s the hard reality of extreme sports. But it also generates camaraderie among the competitors, since they all face the same challenge. One example of that is a tradition that those who top the podium must spend 10% of the winnings (That’s $25,000 at Dew Tour) taking the other competitors to dinner. So Brita took everyone out for sushi.
“It wasn’t too bad because Maddie Bowman (who came in second) helped out some with the check. But it was definitely the most I’ve ever paid for a dinner!”
Learn more about Brita at U.S. Freeskiing and follow her on Twitter @britasig
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