29 Nov 2023
Norwegian sensation Hedvig Wessel is back on the FWT by Peak Performance and is looking stronger than ever. The FWT took a moment to catch up with her, discover what she’s been up to away from competition, and what she feels of her chances this season.
You have been away from the tour for one year, during which time you went through many new experiences. Did you miss competing, and what is your main motivation for returning to the FWT?
It’s been an amazing year away from competition, and I truly enjoyed having more flexibility with traveling and planning, as well as more time to do some bigger projects with my sponsors. It was a nice break from the stress of competition, but I equally love the rush of competing – plus the structure that comes with it – so I am ready to return. I’ve also missed the people, and I’m excited to meet all the new riders. I want to continue to push myself, and I hope that one year away from competition has given me the extra energy and power to do so.
What do you think about this year’s line-up compared to previous seasons? Are there any standout riders for you that you see as favorites?
A few new faces are on the tour this year, and they are generally younger, which is exciting and means they aren’t scared to push it. I can’t wait to see how they ski and execute their plans on the tour. Manon Loschi is the favorite for me – I’ve loved her style for years, and I’m sure she’ll be a strong rider this year.
Do you think your year off competitive skiing has impacted your chances of taking home the crown? Is this still your main goal?
[Laughs] I always ski to the best of my abilities, which is what I think everyone is doing. I hope that a year off has given me more perspective, and that can perform when I need to.
How do you think a year off competition, and all you have achieved during that time, will affect your skiing? What are you bringing forward, and what are you leaving behind?
One of my goals this year is to be more involved with each aspect of the tour. I want to enjoy every moment, and not take anything for granted; not that I did before, but I sometimes got caught up with wanting to perform 100% all the time. Skiing every year in different environments and with different people makes you grow and learn and, this season, I feel stronger both mentally and physically, but also more humble and grateful.
How have you prepared yourself for the FWT season?
The break allowed me to re-focus, as I needed space and time to just be me without being constantly judged on my skiing, and now I feel ready to give everything I have. I have also been busy creating a space for women in the sport through Sister Summit, which has been a really beautiful journey.
Tell us about your new movie to be released Headspace.
The movie Headspace will take you on a journey, showing how I grew up skiing moguls before entering the FWT. It shows the real story of being a professional athlete and an Olympian, as well as highlighting some memorable moments and incredible landscapes of Alaska.