Podium profile: U.S. moguls champ Emiko Torito


Emiko Torito, 25, recently won the moguls title at the U.S. Freestyle Championships after a breakthrough season posting one win and three 3rd place World Cup podiums. Torito had so-so results last year — two top-20s — in U.S. World Cup contests last January and wound up spending the rest of the season in NorAms. "I am shaking. It's unreal," said Torito, after she capped off her successful season by winning the U.S. moguls title. "I know I had a successful year with World Cups and that was great, but there's just nothing like being able to say you're a national champion. It's really special." The Colorado-based skier credits hard work for the breakthrough and pure love for the sport, which is why you might even see her competing in some big-mountain contests just for fun.

Ski Racing: So after a so-so season last year, what changed in your skiing to help you have such great results in '08?
Emiko Torito: I don't think that there's one specific thing that changed, but I think that years of trying just paid off. Things just came together for me.


EMIKO TORITO, 25, recently won the moguls title at the U.S. Freestyle Championships after a breakthrough season posting one win and three 3rd place World Cup podiums. Torito had so-so results last year — two top-20s — in U.S. World Cup contests last January and wound up spending the rest of the season in NorAms. "I am shaking. It's unreal," said Torito, after she capped off her successful season by winning the U.S. moguls title. "I know I had a successful year with World Cups and that was great, but there's just nothing like being able to say you're a national champion. It's really special." The Colorado-based skier credits hard work for the breakthrough and pure love for the sport, which is why you might even see her competing in some big-mountain contests just for fun.

Ski Racing:
So after a so-so season last year, what changed in your skiing to help you have such great results in '08?
Emiko Torito: I don't think that there's one specific thing that changed, but I think that years of trying just paid off. Things just came together for me.

SR: How did training in Steamboat help you get where you are today?
ET: Steamboat is an amazing town for skiers. The whole community supports what we do and it's just the most beautiful place in the world. Plus, the Lowell Whiteman school really brought me to where I am today.

SR: When you're at the top of a course, what is going through your head?
ET: I'm just staring at the moguls and I tell myself to stay balanced and over my feet. I try to think of technical cues and keep it simple. Then adrenaline takes over.

SR: To stay competitive in moguls, what do you have to work on each year? What's your favorite trick? Working on anything new?
ET: Jumps are a constant battle for me. Right now I'm only doing a backflip and 360, but those two jumps have taken so many repetitions. You have to be so confident with your tricks in order to come into them with speed and land in moguls. So now I have to work on something bigger — maybe D-spin or back full. We'll see.

SR:
What's with doing the big-mountain contests? Have you always been a big freeskier? How many have you done? Results?
ET: The big mountain contest was just something I wanted to try because I like to ski around. Snowbird [U.S. Nationals] was my first one and I flew in from World Cup Finals the night before, drove from Denver and then skied without any real idea what I was doing. Fortunately, the whole freeskiing community is really welcoming and everybody was really kind and helpful. I won my day of qualifying, got second in the 2 days of qualifying combined and then got 9th in semis. I'm not sure of my final result — somewhere between 8-16th. I really liked doing it and I would like to practice that sort of skiing — maybe work on jumping off rocks a little. I'll definitely compete in more of these contests whenever they fit in with my schedule. I just love to ski.

SR: Where do you train in the summer? What's a typical day like?
ET: I'm living in Park City in the summer and I try to make it over to Steamboat as often as possible. In the morning I'll work out for a 2-3 hours and then eat lunch then go water ramping and tramping for 2-3 hours more and then I go to work. I work at Dolly's bookstore on Main Street. Then maybe a relaxing drink and then to bed.

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