A ten-year veteran of the US Ski Team, Kaylin Richardson is a four-time National Alpine Champion and two-time Olympian. Since retiring from the World Cup in 2010, Kaylin has fallen even deeper in love with skiing. A temporary position at Canyons Resort in Park City served as her introduction to the Wasatch Mountains and she instantly became hooked. After begging the resort to make it more permanent, she now calls Canyons her home as their Ambassador of Skiing. Kaylin's life philosophy is "laugh often" and she plans to do so - all the way down the mountain.
Icelantic Boards, Dale of Norway, Astis Mittens, Tecnica, Marker, POC and Soul Poles
Favorite music to shred to: It totally depends on my mood, but lately it has been a mix of The Black Keys, Keane, Fun, Aerosmith, Adele, Elton John, Queen, Florence + the Machine and Dr. Dre. I depend on my musically inclined friends to keep me in the loop when it comes to the newest, hippest tracks, but then there are also my faithful mainstays.
What is one thing that would surprise people most about you? I did improv in LA for a while. It is a different sort of rush than skiing- you are on stage, constantly having to think on your feet, performing with these incredibly brilliant individuals, trusting them to work with you in the scene. It is a completely vulnerable, challenging, exhilarating art form. I was garbage 95% of the time, but for that fantastic 5%, it was completely thrilling.
What is your strongest tie to your Minnesota roots, and what one thing do you miss the most about it? People are always dumbfounded with Minnesotans’ fervent state pride. It is hard to explain, but there is something wonderfully unassuming about MN. I am incredibly proud to say that I made the US Ski Team from a 175 ft vertical hill- a ski area so teeny that most westerners (and easterners) cannot fathom how laughably small it is. (ie: in the summer you can run to the top of the race hill in less than 60 sec). Although the mountains are my happy place, it is hard to stay away from MN too long because my beautiful family lives there. My nephews Sawyer and Graham are hands down the two cutest kids on the planet. UT is home now, but MN is too.
What is the worst injury you have ever had? Curiously enough, I managed to get through 10 years on the US Ski Team, more or less, unscathed. Then, last March I was hitting a jump in the backcountry for a photo shoot and totally miscalculated the landing getting way too forward. I ended up scorpioning in the worst way possible and heard a seriously alarming cacophony of crunches coming from my neck. Once the feeling returned to my left arm I knew I’d be ok, but months later I still have issues with the acute annular tear in the disc between my C6 and C7 vertebrae.
Since retiring from the US Ski Team in 2010, what is the most challenging thing you have done on skis? Day Two at the FWT’s 2012 North American Championships at Snowbird was a serious test of my physical ability and mental capacity. It was my first big mountain competition ever so I was unfamiliar with pretty much everything. After two inspection days, the qualifier, and Day One, I was exhausted. Since I was sitting in first position I was the last girl to go and, like a true ski racer, I totally jumped the gun. I was at the start for an hour and had to wait as ski patrol attended to two other competitors, admittedly shaking my confidence. I had fallen pretty hard during inspection earlier that morning and definitely contemplated taking another line, but I didn’t want to allow the mountain to “own” me, if that makes sense. I just tried to stay relaxed and kept repeating my mantra: “ski your line, keep it together.” Luckily, I did just that and ended up keeping enough of a lead to win. I was super psyched about the victory, but more than that I was relieved. Never had I been so relieved to be down a slope safe and sound.
What is the one thing you look forward to most after a long day on the Mountain? A fabulous meal surrounded by friends. I absolutely adore sitting around a table/fire/bar/anything and recounting the exploits of the day, subsequently laughing over it. If I am beyond fried, a hot tub session might supersede the meal and take the number one spot, but that is rare.
What was the most memorable moment while filming with WME for Flow State at Canyons? There was admittedly a little trepidation when I arrived at Canyons on the first morning of shooting. I walked into the little breakfast nook, First Tracks Café, where everyone was meeting and my main concern was that I just didn’t want to look like a nerd, but that quickly subsided when I met the incredible group of people I’d be working with. Needless to say, in the days that followed it became clear that I AM a nerd, but a nerd that loves to ski and, when the timing is right, can put a few good turns together. Blake’s righteous back flip, Julian nailing his line, throwing snowballs at Haskins, the gloriousness of flying in a helicopter, CP’s one-liners, Keely’s unadulterated exuberance, Logan’s hilarious skiing debut, hiking 15 feet to do the same epic turn over and over and over… There really is no single moment that sticks out in my mind- as cliched as it sounds, I had so much fun every day that it all sort of melds together into one big stretch of awesome.