interview with swedish snowboard chick Jennie Waara, january 1998 back to three sixty

it stinks we didn't even snowboard together.

I know. I still got a fun run that first day. if you're in island Lake Lodge and can't snowboard,
you're just eating cinnamon rolls and gourmet French cuisine. the french cookbook -at least
10,000 calories per meal.

My favorite's sandwiches in the cats. Let's start with some Qs... whats the town you grew up
called?

Malmbert, Sweden

What's it like?

Pretty small. Our whole community is maybe 16,000 people. It's not super small, it's just
really spread out.

What activities would you engage in as a kid?

I grew up being outside with my family a lot. My dad and I would hunt birds, elk, and go
fishing. We even had our own smokehouse. Whenever we could, my brother and I would
sneak off with the snowmobile and chase reindeers. As i got older I got more interested in
being with friends and boys. During those days I only went outside to pick berries, I'd sell
them and get money to go to Greece. Living up there you had to like some kind of sport -
there's not much else to do. I've always been very active-ice-skating, gymnastics, [European]
football, riding, and skiing-always keeping myself busy.

Where would you hang out?

Between Safeway and Safeway [laughs]. No-we had two spots. When I was a kid it was fun, but once I became a teenager-it was so boring. Sometimes my friends and I would wait
outside the pub until 2:00 a.m. only to see a few cute boys come out and jump straight into cabs.

You couldn't go in the pub?

No. We were not even close to being old enough.

My friends and I used to hang out at 7-Eleven.

You guys have stores that are always open. Everything closes at 6:00 p.m. in Malmbert.

What goes on with the light up there? I don't understand that whole thing.

We have the midnight sun from April to August. The sun never goes completely down. So
there's always some light. Wintertime is really dark. December is the darkest, with only one
[hour of] light [per day]. Summer is great, though; you can do things when you want and for as long as you want. It's killer stepping out of the nightclub and it's light outside.

Do u have heavy curtains on the windows?
Oh yeah. You won't sleep that well if you don't have real [heavy] things on the windows.

Is it acceptable to go to sleep at any time of the day, or do most people get up in the
morning?

Everyone who workes gets up, but if you're a kid and you don't have to work, you can rest,
wake up, and go,"Oh, I wonder what time it is? Oh, it's two o'clock at night." You're wide
awake, if it happens. Sometimes i get up at 1:00 p.m. My dad says,"Why, Jennie?" He thinks
it's so terrible. He tries to wake me up by calling me early in the morning.

What's home like?

I've lived in the same house since I was born. I love that. It's a big yellow house with an
overgrown, terrible-looking garden. Since I'm never there, and my older brother moved out-
there's too many rooms for only mum and dad.

How old is your brother?

He's 27. Since we got older we get along a lot better. He started snowboarding last year. I
call him on the cell phone all the time while I'm away.

Does he call you at the pipe?

Yeah [laughs]. My phone rings as I'm hiking up the pipe, and someone yells,"Jennie, you
have a phone call."

"I'll have to call u back. I'm practicing my 540s right now." How'd you start snowboarding?

I started dating Johan [Olofsson], and he was snowboarding. I call it the "typical girl
start",girls who just follow the guys. I tried a few times; it was a lot morefun than skiing, and I
could be with Johan-I killed two birds with one rock, u know. So I stopped my ski career, to
my dad's disappointment. All my ski coaches thought it was bad judgment.

When did you start skiing?

I guess I was like three years old. I remember you had to be seven before you could start
racing, and when I turned seven the ski association said,"No, you've got to be eight years old."I was so bummed, I had to wait a year and they moved the age again.

I was never good at skiing, I think I wore jeans once... maybe twice.

That's so funny! I used to see those kids [in jeans], "He's from Stockholm. It's a city kid."

How many years have you been snowboarding?

Four. Johan was so funny when I started. I had only been snowboarding for a few weeks, and
I was out with him and Ingemar [Bergman], and some other guys, and he goes,"Ya, do that
jump down there, Jennie. Do a backside 180 Indy." I was supposed to tweak it out. I was
like,"O-kay." I was so stubborn I went up every day after school.

It paid off, though, you did real well at the X-Games last year, right?

Yeah-I'm surprised. I got first in the boarder- cross, second in the halfpipe. I couldn't belive it.
We all had up super early training runs. Every morning it was rock hard-I thought everything
sucked, and I sucked. But then by lunchtime it was all good-sunny, slushy, and warm. Overall
it was a really fun contest, well organized, and I liked that it wasn't crowded.

Did u have a run planned out for the pipe?

Yeah pretty much.

Do you remember it?

Oh, yeah. You know what? I'm so tiered of that run. I think that happens to a lot of riderswho
do competions-they do the same run over and over. I'm sooo sick of that run-backside air,
frontside grab, backside mute...no-Indy, frontside 360, backside 540, pop tart, and then a tailgrab.

Will you use a "stock" run in competition this year?

Yes that's pretty much what everyone does. Some don't ever bother to change their runs.
I'm sure you hear it all the time, but it's pumpin' to see the ladies killin' it in the halfpipe.
The guys, too. Everyone I was watching at the U.S. Open this year. It was amazing, I couldn't
believe how good everyone was! The girls' level is getting and [spreading] wider. There're so
many girls. That stokes me out.

Is snowboarding fun for you, or is it moe competition oriented?

Of course it's for fun. I guess if I would have done super bad at the X-Games I wouldn't have
thought it was such a great contest. I'm sure that my results are big part of my impression of
a contest. Sometimes you go to a contest, you travel overseas, you really want to try to do
your best, but things don't get well-that's not too much fun. But when everything's working,
then the competiton is fun. It's hard. The contests here in the States have been judged better than in European contestes. I might be wrong, but all the European riders are familiar with each other-everyone knows if the judging is wrong. My best suggestion to a competitor is mixing [it up]. I would not stay happy only competing. I need to freeride in between. Go ride by yourself, have fun, and you'll learn new things. That will make you even more stoked on riding.

Of all the places you've traveled to, which do you like the best?

Hard question. First always surround with fun, good friends, and then good weather, and
you'll be fine. I like the States. I haven't seen too many cities because I've been in the mountains a lot. I've been traveling so much in Europe that im tired of it. I do like Riksgransen-even if it's crowded nowadays. Chile was a great experien- ce-fun, fun, fun. And of course I.L.L.-and that is not only for the riding. I like the beaches of Greece. I don't like it when I can't get real Swedish food. Like palt, it's like potato, water and salt mushed up. Caviar-Kalles Kaviar. It's a different spread in Sweden-they put other stuff in it, too, and it comes in a tube.

What's your favorite candy?

I like all kinds of salty licorice. I get homesick sometimes, so I just started to travel with a
stock of salty candies.

What's the most worthless/overpriced item you've purchased throughout your travels and
shopping sprees?

Ohh...I buy a lot of things I don't need. Shopaholic-I think that's what it's called.

Who do hang out whih when you're traveling arround?

This year I traveled a lot with Jenny Jonsson, a very nice, pretty and funny girl. She's from
Sweden, too. We went to the Swedish Olympic training thing together. Stine B. Kjeldas is
also one of my best travel buddies. I got kind of lost after Christmas this year, 'cause I had no
plan and ended up traveling by myself. That's okay with me, though-I like being alone.

Are you going to the Olympics?

Right now I am. But if they don't think I have a chance-then I won't go. I gotta put all my
energy into it. I want to go and see the hockey players, I like those boys

Are you a heartbreaker?

No, of course not! Are you kidding?

 

 

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