Winter Park’s Seemann repeats as Junior National Aerial champion
Going into a competition, Nik Seemann’s strategy is simple.
Go big or go home.
It’s a bold philosophy, and the stakes are high on both sides of the coin.
Last week it paid off.
The 17-year-old skiing phenom from Winter Park took first place at the 2015 Freestyle Junior National Aerial Championships on Wednesday, March 18 in Park City, Utah.
Seemann reached deep for a quadruple twisting triple back flip, a trick he’s never done in a competition and only done once in practice.
Seemann’s the youngest skier to ever land the trick on snow, he said.
“We just decided to go all out,” Seemann said. “We went for the gnarliest trick we could do and it paid off. We sent it, and we didn’t hold anything back.”
Seemann’s father and coach, Chris, said he was “pretty excited” when his son stuck the trick.
“I coach him, and I coach the U.S. teams going into the Olympics,” Chris said. “For his age, he’s got some pretty amazing tricks.”
This is Seemann’s second win in the Freestyle Junior National Aerial Championships. He took first place last year, too.
For Seemann, it never gets old.
“I felt really good about it,” he said of his finish. “I was just super stoked to have thrown that big new trick that I’d just done for the first time.”
As it’s name implies, the quadruple twisting triple back flip incorporates four twists into three backflips.
For those who tend to stay firmly planted on the ground, just the thought of such a maneuver can cause a spike in blood pressure.
Considering Seemann had landed the trick only once on snow just two days before the competition, the accomplishment is nothing less than epic.
Still, Seemann was calm, cool and collected as he approached the jump, he said.
“I wasn’t super nervous because I knew that I had it,” Seemann said. “I knew that I could put it down.”
Seemann is currently in Steamboat Springs readying himself for the 2015 U.S. National Freestyle Championships, where he’ll compete with members of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team and other top skiers from around the country.
It’s the last big event of the season, and Seemann said sticking the big trick last week has given him a big confidence boost.
“That new trick, that is definitely going to help me compete with the top guys,” he said. “That is one the of the tricks the biggest guys in my sport are doing, so its definitely going to help a lot.”
This is Seemann’s first year throwing triple back flips.
He’ll spend this summer training with the U.S. Ski Team at a new training facility in Park City.
He said he’s looking to add the “hurricane,” three back flips with five twists, to his repertoire next season.
That said, keep and eye out for it in next season’s competitions.
After all, that’s just how Seemann rolls.
“I’m either going to throw the biggest trick and stick it or I’m going to crash hard,” he said. “I’m going to put it all out there. I’m not going to go home thinking I should have done a bigger trick.”
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