Free to Fly

By Chris Cooper

In Sports Applications

February 17, 2014

PDF Article

CrossFit athlete A.J. Kemppainen will take to the air as freeskiing is contested for the first time at the Olympics.

A skier at 5. Twin-tip skis at 12. Sponsors at 15. Pro card at 17. CrossFit at 23. The Olympics at 24.

Freeskier A.J. Kemppainen grew up on skis. Raised in the ski-resort town of Ruka, Finland, Kemppainen has done most of his skiing under the dark sky in the wintertime. When he moved to Helsinki last summer, he found CrossFit Basement. He said CrossFit training helped prepare him physically and mentally, and he continues to do stretching and mobility work while competing.

This will be the first time skiers launch out of the halfpipe at the Olympics, and Kemppainen will be front and center. Ranked among the top contenders for a medal, Kemppainen won a World Cup event in August in New Zealand.

Now he’s in Sochi, Russia.

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