POWDER: I had actually not checked in with this contest since it began, since I figured, being an ESPN thing with their general public audience and all, the skiers would all get annihilated in the first round. How the hell did you make it this far? You didn't even do any tricks, and you also don't surf or skateboard.
Backstrom: Yes, I am pretty shocked myself to still be in the contest considering I like to go downhill facing straight ahead, and that I got hurt this year. But Stept made a great edit, and honestly I think it’s because skiers are such a strong community—people are just rallying like crazy to help and support me in this contest. I mean, it’s everyone from Matchstick and ski magazines, my sponsors, mountains like Squaw Valley and Crystal, to my dad’s colleagues, ski friends, friends from high school and college, old teachers, and just kind-hearted skiers who are sharing this and voting. I even saw that one of my first boyfriends from when I was in 8th grade liked it on Facebook the other day. It’s been amazing, regardless of what happens, to see so much support.
You filmed with Matchstick (as well as Sherpas Cinema) yet there's not a single time-wasting skit or 'lifestyle' shot in the whole edit. Were the Stept guys just smart enough to cut all that out and just leave the skiing? How did those guys even know how to edit big-mountain shots?
(Laughs) When I was working with Nick Martini (at Stept), my teammate at The North Face (do you like how I worked a sponsor mention in right there?), I knew since it was only going to be a 75-second edit that it would be super short and I just wanted it to be all action. Big mountain skiing has lulls when watching lines anyways, time to take in the scenery while I am making turns all nervous above a rollover or something, so they just went with that rhythm and literally made it all action shots.
How did you convince Matchstick and the Sherpas to give you footage for this contest, knowing you're just going to hoard all the prize money for yourself while making their movies that much worse? Is this all just B shots and we're going to be witnessing 80-foot backies come premier season?
I wish there were 80-foot backies! I didn’t quite get to that point yet this season before I was done. Next season. So yes, it is the stuff that might not be used, but also this was something I was really excited to be involved in and the Sherpas were kind enough to get me the footage from a few days shooting pillows in Revelstoke this year, and I was stoked on those pillow lines and really grateful I got to use them in addition to stuff from MSP that wasn’t used. Ski movies are a business, for sure—but it’s about entertainment and stoke. I’m lucky to work with such awesome companies. And the prize money would be amazing—$10,000 would be incredible. We could work something out.
Your cross-Tahoe comrade, Michelle Parker, fell by a razor-thin margin earlier in the contest while you carried on. Have their been any Housewives-esque moments of egocentric self-satisfaction in doing better than your friend/competition? Any nasty text messages you want to tell us about, or better yet, public bar fights or dumpings of drinks?
Yeah, that Michelle—I could seriously go off. Right, you pretty much couldn’t find a bad thing to say about her. She rips, she’s super nice, funny, all-around awesome. I feel lucky I wasn’t up against her in that first round. It was tight and I think it came down to a few votes. I wish she would have stayed in, she is so rad. Although I think she might be stealing “the female MSP spot” from me, so on second thought…
This is the first all-female video contest X Games has held. I know it's going to be a challenge, but please combine the over-utilized words "opportunity," "progression," and "stoked" in a sentence to describe how you feel about this contest without boring our readers to tears.
The progression of online voting contests has provided opportunities for people of all types—even womenfolk—to showcase these obscure sports like “women’s skiing” to a wider audience, in hopes that viewers are stoked on what they are seeing. I’m kidding, of course. It’s awesome that the X Games is holding these Real series to include more sports and more athletes. Hopefully it’s successful and it can keep, um, progressing in a positive direction.
You're up against Leticia Bufoni, a skateboarder. Those guys have their own video games and shit. How do you hope to win this thing—pray the audience mistakes you for a snowboarder?
I hope to stay in this thing just purely from the heart and soul of all the skiers out there. Leticia is amazing, but the outpouring of support from skiers has been incredible, so hopefully that counts for something. And if anyone happens to mistake me for someone much cooler, that’s fine too.
In the incredibly unlikely scenario in which you—a skier—win this thing, what do you plan on spending the gobs of Disney prize money on? Pizza bagels from Wildflour? A paddleboard? Big night at the Peppermill casino down in Reno?
So you’re telling me there’s a chance! Well, Wildflour is closed for the summer season, otherwise it would be downtown cookie-town for sure. As a skier, I would probably spend the $10,000 on medical bills, new rollerblades, and a surf trip somewhere. Haha. No but really, medical bills and maybe school tuition. If I lose this contest I'll need to look for another job.
Vote for Ingrid here.