PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympian Finn Bilous is still buzzing following a week of epic competition in the Southern Alps.
The 20-year-old was part of the Winter Games brand new Obsidian event, which took 21 of New Zealand’s top skiers and snowboarders and pitted them against each other across four different disciplines.
“Having the variety of all those riders brought a whole new aspect to the event,” said Bilous.
“Having guys and girls, ski and snowboard, it made you realise how congruent all the snow sports athletes are. Everyone’s very like-minded but they all have their own creative twists which were cool to see.”
Bilous is usually a slopestyle athlete but Obsidian saw athletes throw down their best tricks on the big air jumps, in the terrain park and on the natural cliff faces of the mountains near Wanaka and Queenstown.
“I’ve always enjoyed skiing different disciplines and would love to compete across them more frequently so this was a dream competition for me,” said Bilous.
“It put people in positions they weren’t used to, and we were all pushing each other so it was awesome to see how different people overcame their fear factors and rose to the occasion.”
For athletes who had no idea whether they’d be competing at all this season, the competition was the perfect opportunity to try out new tricks, perfected in the downtime caused by Covid.
“I’d been working on things like my left side spins that might get put on the back burner when I’m really busy with contests all season so it’s been a good chance to refresh and look at some of the holes in my progression and build back up.”
“It was amazing to get to show off that skiing and training we’d been doing and to do so in a completely new contest format was really exciting.”
With Covid still delaying international travel, Bilous isn’t sure when he’ll next be heading overseas but the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games are firmly on his radar.
“Right now we’ve got great facilities to train on and we’re in a pretty good position down here so we’re just controlling the controllable and we’ll be ready to perform when the time comes.”