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Janina Kuzma - Top Kiwi Skier

Janina Kuzma is one talented Wanaka local girl! She absolutely rips on her skis, both in big mountain and half pipe. She hikes and skis mountain peaks that would make most of us shiver, and boosts air out of the half pipe well over our heads. And in combo with all that talent, she is simply one of nicest girls around!

Hard work has got Janina to the top her sport and she now has her sights set on representing New Zealand at the Winter Olympics in February. I have no doubt she will do all of Wanaka and New Zealand proud and we wish all her all the luck in world!

Quick Facts:-
Name: Janina Kuzma
Nicknames: G
Age: 28
Nationality: New Zealand
Home Town: Wanaka
Discipline: Big Mountain/ Halfpipe

How long have you been skiing for?
22 years

How did you get into skiing?
I got into skiing going on family holidays when I was young and once I finished school I started doing seasons in Fernie BC.

With freestyle skiing being added to the Olympics, was it an easy choice to switch over from big mountain to pipe for a few seasons?
It wasn’t an easy choice. I’d just spent the last 4 seasons working to get on the Freeride World Tour and build up my profile in Europe. So it was a tough decision to put that on hold while I take on the pipe full time. But then again with the pipe being included in the Olympics and the opportunity to represent New Zealand I just couldn’t let this chance go by.

Right, so you used to do mainly big mountain skiing than half pipe skiing, but now you’re in the half pipe more – which do you like best and what do you like best about each discipline?Well I really like being able to learn all these new tricks in the pipe and I feel like my progression is more noticeable. And the feeling of boosting out of the pipe is pretty cool. For big mountain I really like the freedom that comes with it. And the way you can express yourself in the way you ride the mountain. I think deep down my heart will always be with big mountain.

It’s looking very good for you to be heading to Sochi Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics. How does that make you feel, it must be darn exciting!?
I’m super excited! Being able to represent New Zealand with freesking being introduced into the Olympics for the first time in Sochi next year and I believe our team is looking really strong for some good results next year. Fingers crossed!

You have been based and training here in Wanaka for the New Zealand seasons right? So how long have you live in Wanaka for?
Yes I’ve been based in Wanaka for 9 years now. I love it here.

What is your favourite thing about Wanaka during the ski season and what makes it such a good ski destination?
The relaxed feel of the town and having two great resorts within a half hour drive (Treble Cone and Cardrona).

Now I know it’s a long and hard road being a professional skier who would like to give big shout outs too for helping you out?
My Sponsors Volkl, Marker, The North Face, Dalbello, Scott, Cardrona Alpine Resort, Candy Grind. I’d also like to thank High Performance Sports New Zealand, Snow Sports NZ and my friends and family.

Posted By: Paula Mitchell, @ Wed, 27th Nov 2013

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