As much as she was a world class athlete, Kristi Leskinen—a regular on podiums during the early years of slope and halfpipe skiing—also had to be a trailblazer for female skiers. On this episode of the “Sponsored” podcast, hosted by Mike Powell, the Pennsylvania native and the first woman to throw a rodeo 720, talks about the early years of the sport and the lobbying she had to do to make her dream happen.

“It just felt like a struggle for many years,” says Leskinen on the latest “Sponsored” podcast. “We’re here, we want to compete, we need to be treated with some respect, and enthusiasm, and it took a long time. It took a lot of lobbying. Sarah and I schemed together. It was frustrating and challenging but exciting. We were building something.”

Listen to the podcast here:

Show Notes:

2:43 Life in Arizona
3:44: Growing up in Pennsylvania wakeboarding and skiing
6:00: The end of team sports
8:32: Killington Mountain School
9:12: Skiing, wakeboarding, and the U.S. Open
12:29: The early challenges for women in the beginning of the modern twin tip era
15:55: The photo shoots that had nothing to do with skiing
18:48: Was she able to make a lot of money skiing?
19:37: Head injuries led to retirement
21:42: ABC's Superstars and winning it
23:26: The controversy she started with the E-Sports world

“Sponsored” is a weekly show hosted by Mike Powell that goes deep into the lives and stories of professional skiers. For more Powder Radio, check out “The Storytellers” podcast, which goes behind the scenes with POWDER.

Subscribe to Powder Radio here. You can also find all Powder Radio shows on iTunes.

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