Don’t we all say it on those days when the toaster catches on fire at breakfast, our cell phone falls in the toilet in the afternoon and an unpleasant letter from the tax office is waiting for us after work? If we were to document everyday mishaps like this on video, at best we’d have a pretty humdrum chronicle of the day. Not very riveting stuff for the general public, in any case.
When Candide Thovex puts out another video called “One of Those Days,” though, his fans clamor for it excitedly as if there was no tomorrow. Candide Thovex is a skier — more specifically, a freestyle skier — and a legend. He doesn’t simply ski: He jumps, takes virtual freefalls off cliffs and zips up and down through the mountains, tossing in flips and corkscrews along the way. When Candide Thovex has “one of those days,” he straps on a helmet camera and slices back and forth between trees, sometimes even clearing a flying helicopter with spinning rotors, or speeding through snow caves not much wider than a tiny mousehole. Accross the social networks his spectacular videos became megahits.
Millions of people watching a skiing clip is a huge accomplishment for a sport whose professional echelons are pretty small. Freestyle skiers start where “ordinary” skiers stop. It takes technical and athletic brilliance, not to mention courage, to catapult off a ski jump and do flips, only to land safely again. Big mountain freeriding also calls for extensive mountaineering experience, knowledge of weather and snow, wind, avalanche and slope conditions for venturing off groomed runs into fresh powder at 3,000 meters. Not to mention patience and fortitude. Freestyle skiers are definitely not pampered athletes with entourages. Even the big names carry their own equipment, shovel snow and pitch in to help wherever needed.