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2022 Olympic Skiers Say They Listen to Notorious B.I.G., MF Doom, Phantogram and Metric Before Runs



The Olympic halfpipe finalist proceeded to pump up the volume during his final run to qualify for the games. The 25-year-old Colorado freestyle skier struck just the right note on his run while listening to "TOES" by DaBaby.


It was music to his ears.


"Double corks," "Japan grabs," and "backside rodeos" are just a few of the tricks that make these competitors sync up. Air pods are nearly as important to them as ski bindings.


“If someone wants to mess with me on a competition day, they’d take away my music,” said Nico Porteous of New Zealand, who is expected to be one of the favorites in Saturday's championship (Feb. 19), the last day of fun and games at Genting Snow Park. “Music is so important to me. Like, the most important thing.”


During his qualifying run, Porteous listened to The Notorious B.I.G.’s song “Who Shot Ya?” He was listening to it when he won bronze during the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang. The song had slipped his mind until it appeared on his play list at the Winter X Games a month ago.


Putting on that song, Porteous skied better than he's ever done. So, it remained on his list of greatest hits.


In addition to that, Canadian Noah Bowman is listening to MF Doom. A freeskier from the United States has been getting stoked to "EDM" (electronic dance music). The play button for Phantogram's "Black Out Days" was pushed by his teammate Birk Irving.


“Music’s huge,” the 22-year-old Irving said. “It zones me out so I’m not really focused on everything. I’m just kind of going and cruising and flowing through the pipe.”


Brendan MacKay, the Canadian freestyler, gets into the groove with Canadian rock band Metric. “That was pretty fast-paced,” MacKay explained of his musical choice. “Sometimes I’ll go even more fast-paced, sometimes slower. I was a bit tired (Thursday morning) so I really needed some energy from my music to get me fired up.”


About the time Metric gets cranking, MacKay finds himself absorbed in deep halfpipe thoughts. “I don’t think I hear it much even though it’s pretty loud,” he said. “I’m fully focused on skiing, and not thinking anything else.” For Bowman, tunes have been a “game changer.”


“The energy gets me excited because I’m a fairly laid-back guy,” Bowman said. “So I need that music to kind of hype me up. I’m typically listening to some hip-hop, because hip-hop hypes me up.”


David Wise, the two-time defending Olympic champion, may be the rare exception. He prefers peace and quiet. “It’s not my vibe,” Wise said. “I’ve talked a lot about, like, mental toughness, the ability to land runs when the pressure’s on, and for me, I just embrace the fact that I’m actually at a high-level contest.”


“I want to hear every sound. I want to hear the crowd. I want to hear the sound my skis make. That’s just, for me, how I stay more closely tied to the reality. I totally get (using music) but that’s just not how I like to compete.”


Ferreira believes this. An up-tempo song is also a chart-topper for Ferreira, “Red Light, Green Light.”


“I need (music) because it just makes me feel good,” Ferreira said. “It distracts me, I guess, from all the nerves and pressures.”