LAUSANNE, Switzerland – After a year-long hiatus, Norwegian freeride sensation Hedvig Wessel is gearing up for her return to the Freeride World Tour (FWT) with renewed energy and perspective. Wessel, a two-time Olympian, shares her thoughts and expectations for the upcoming FWT season.
Embracing the Rush of Competition Again
Hedvig Wessel’s break from the competitive circuit was a period of personal and professional growth. “It’s been an amazing year away from competition,” Wessel reflects. She enjoyed the flexibility and the opportunity to work on larger projects with her sponsors. Despite appreciating the break, the thrill of competition beckons her back. “I equally love the rush of competing – plus the structure that comes with it – so I am ready to return,” says Wessel, excited to reconnect with familiar faces and meet new riders.
Eyeing the Competition and Personal Goals
Wessel is keenly aware of the evolving dynamics of the tour, noting the influx of younger, fearless riders. Among them, Manon Loschi stands out for Wessel, admired for her style and anticipated as a strong contender. However, Wessel’s focus isn’t solely on her competitors. Her year off has imbued her with a refreshed perspective, and she’s eager to see how this influences her performance. “I hope that a year off has given me more perspective and that I can perform when I need to,” she states with a mix of humility and confidence.
A More Holistic Approach to Freeriding
This season, Wessel aims to immerse herself more fully in every aspect of the tour. “I want to enjoy every moment and not take anything for granted,” she asserts. Her experiences over the past year, skiing in diverse environments and with different people, have contributed to her growth, leaving her feeling stronger, both mentally and physically. Wessel’s approach this season is not just about performance but also about gratitude and a deeper appreciation for the sport.
Preparing for the Season
The break allowed Wessel to refocus and re-energize. She talks about creating a space for women in the sport through initiatives like Sister Summit, describing it as a “beautiful journey.” This off-season work seems to have bolstered her readiness for the FWT, both in terms of skill and mental fortitude.
As the FWT season approaches, Wessel’s comeback is not just about reclaiming her position in the sport. It’s about bringing a richer, more nuanced approach to freeriding, influenced by her experiences away from the competitive limelight. Her return is eagerly anticipated by fans and fellow competitors alike, as she brings not only her exceptional skillset but also a renewed spirit to the slopes.
Hedvig Wessel’s journey back to the FWT encapsulates the essence of a seasoned athlete — embracing change, growth, and the undying love for the sport. Her presence in the upcoming season adds an exciting dimension to the tour, promising a blend of experience, skill, and a fresh perspective that only a year away from the spotlight can bring.