I recently sat down with Bryce Bennett, A local ripper who was named to the US Development Team. Things we discussed: Making the team, skiing pow at Squaw and the infamous Unofficial Chinese Downhill that ended with him in a security office being questioned by the police. He figures enough time has gone by that he can now talk about it publicly.
Now for those of you not familiar with what happened, about 2 years ago renegade Unofficial employee, Bradon Smith, held a contest. A Chinese Downhill from the top of the Siberia lift all the way to Le Chamois. It did not go smoothly at all, and for the first time, Bryce (the winner of the competition) discusses it with us. His tone was both sarcastic and humble.
So Bryce, it pretty cool that you made the US Development Team, can you tell us how your last season went for you prior to making the team?
My season started off pretty slow, I had a couple good first runs, but the second runs I would fall or be to slow. It was pretty hard to find my consistency, but I finally had some good results, it came slowly but it happened and it gave me a chance to go to the US development team tryout camp in Bachelor this spring. We also did physical testing in Park City.
How did things go at the camp for you?
I was sick, but I knew that it was a make or break deal so I pushed myself as hard as I could go for everything I did. When we went skiing I did the same. I put all my energy down the hill. It ended up going well, I think five out of the six coaches said I was the best at the camp. It was a good time.
In terms of the coming season, what are your goals?
My goal for this next season is to get top five in all the NORAMs, maybe win a few and to make the Europa Cup team and from that point make the World Cup team.
I’m gonna have to train all the time, I’m doing training blocks in Chile and at Mt. Hood this summer, as well as Park City all of July just working out and getting as fit as possible so I can make this all happen.
Cool, Sounds like you’re going to have a busy off season.
Yea, It’s kinda nonstop.
Hopefully you will still get your Squaw Pow days.
Yea, I do hope so. This season was epic, with all the snow we had I’d just come home and relax. Freeskiing helps my racing so much and it gets me into the right mental attitude. It really helped so much to be able to unwind, not think about racing and just send it as hard as i could. Deep pow in my face. It was sweet.
Man, I couldn’t agree more. One last question. Last year you took part in a Chinese Downhill, can you tell us about that experience.
HAHA! Well.. Unofficial put on a chinese downhill, and I was like “Ah who is gonna beat me? no one”. I had race skis, a speed suit, I waxed my skis. So, I go up to the top of Siberia and nobody was there and the clouds started rolling in, it was getting pretty ominous and scary when everyone started showing up. We were like, “We’re doing this!” Then we got a call from ski patrol who said, “you might get your passes pulled if you go for it.” I thought, whatever, there are a pair of skis on the line!
So we all started and it was a pretty close start, but then I started to pull away and you could see nothing down Siberia. It was the end of the day and everything was pretty beat up. I was going super fast in my tuck and when I get to the end of Siberia, I see a whole bunch of ski patrol. There was probably about 6. So I stand up and just start laying GS turns over, “I’m not tuckin”. My friend had video on here iphone of me on Mountain Run. In the video you see me go by and then you see a bunch of patrolers yelling, “GET HIM AT ALL COSTS, GET HIM, THE KID IN THE SPEED SUIT!!!”
When I hit Sunnyside flats, I’m gone. There is no one around, but I see two snowmobiles coming toward me and they flipped bitches and started chasing me. I got down in my tuck and when I got to le Chamois, I clicked off my skis to get the prize and when I did the Mountain Manager grabbed me. There were about 15 other patrollers that were also there.
Haha, that is great. What happened then?
Well, I kinda got in trouble, a little bit. They had called security and I was in the security office for about three hours. They also called the cops, but they were like, “well, he didn’t do anything illegal”. I ended up getting my pass taken away for two weeks. I kinda sucked, but my mom got a free pair of skis.
Thanks for talking to us Bryce.
You bet, no problem.
Ski footage from Trauncy Productions, Checkout their website @ http://truancyproductions.com/www.truancyproductions.com/Home.html , or, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Truancy-Productions/259229619821