Spencer O’Brien and Anna Gasser Spring Park Edit 2014
Spencer O’Brien from Canada, and Anna from Austria, two of the most progressive, and talented riders in the world. Spencer and Anna both represented their countries in Sochi at the Olympic Winter Games competing in Slopestyle. Here is their spring park edit from 2014.
Edit by: Joe Carlino
We caught up with Spencer and Anna about their seasons, interviews below.
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Life on the road. Denver airport with Anna Gasser and Spencer O’Brien. PHOTO: Cyril Muller
Who did you have the best session with this year?
Spencer: My best session last year was with Anna in Whistler a few weeks after the Olympics. Nike wanted to get some park shots and we didn't know where to go so super last minute we threw something together in Whistler. Anna ended up booking a ticket the day before and showed up and destroyed it. Our first day we rode the park for 5 hours with sleds, both of us ran out of tricks to do and neither of us could walk the next day…unfortunately there is no film footage from that day ha.
Anna: My best session this year was in Whistler right before US Open. It was the first time I really got to ride with Spencer.
Spencer O’Brien, Whistler. PHOTO: Cyril Muller
What was the hardest trick to land in this video part?
Spencer: Cab 7. I have struggled with cab my whole career and this year it finally clicked for it. Landing that cab 7 with a follow took me a while, it was pretty much the last trick I did for the season.
Anna: Hm I think swbs 5 because I never used to spin that way and had to learn it from scratch.
Whats the story behind your ender trick?
Spencer: My last shot is a front 7 from Montafon, Austria in late March. I was riding with Kevin Backstrom, Tor Lundstrom and Ethan Morgan. It was a fun jump, but had a lot of compression so I stuck to mostly spinning frontside on it.
Anna: I couldn't land switch last season because of an ankle injury, so I had no choice than to try bs 7 and it worked out pretty ok.
Anna Gasser, Whistler. PHOTO: Cyril Muller
Where did you go on your favorite trip this year?
Spencer: Whistler with Anna in February and in May. I have so much fun riding with her, and we push each other a lot. It's kind of sad that my favourite trip this year was riding park, but unfortunately I got noooo pow this season.
Anna: I have to say it was the trip to Whistler too. It was just so nice to ride without any pressure after the stressful months before the Olympics.
Spencer O’Brien. PHOTO: Cyril Muller
When did you feel on top of the world this year?
Spencer: X Games. I had been injured for a really long time and had to miss the summer season as well as Dew Tour last year. I was super nervous for X to be my first event back in 10 months, but I ended up landing the run I wanted to and getting bronze. It was also the highest level of riding I've ever seen from the girls, it was amazing to see everyone laying down sick runs. Silje and Jamie absolutely killed it so it felt really good to stand up there next to them. It gave me a lot of confidence going into the Olympics and made all the hard work to come back in time worth it.
Anna: When I won the olympic qualifiers. It was the first time in a couple months that I was riding without any pain and I felt confident on my board again
When did you feel like you wanted to give up?
Spencer: The Olympics. I fought so hard to be there, it felt like everything fell apart the year leading into the games and in November I honestly wasn't sure if I would even make it there. It was an accomplishment to get there, but I wanted to land a run, whether it got me a medal or not, I just wanted to land my run. It was hard to swallow putting that much time, focus and energy into something and then to just sit down, to just have an off day.
Anna: Just a day later when had an early start in finals, slipped down the start and couldn't get back up.
Anna Gasser. PHOTO: Cyril Muller
How many flights did you miss?
Spencer: Last season? I don't think I missed any, but I paid way too much for flights to Colorado last season haha.
Anna: I didn't really miss any, but i had to change so many for crazy money
Why do you love snowboarding?
Spencer: Snowboarding is just a part of me now. I've been doing it for so long, I can't imagine my life without it. There's always something new to try or a different way to do something you already know how to do. I feel very lucky to have gotten to do it for a living for so long and it's cool to know that I will be shredding with my grandkids one day…if my body lets me anyways ha.
Anna: I love snowboarding because of the feeling it gives me, the fun i have with it and the good friends I’ve made along the way.
What's next for you?
Spencer: Dew Tour is this week in Breck so I'm looking forward to that. I am going to cut back on events this year, it's so nice to have the Olympics over. I feel like myself again and am having so much fun riding. I'll do the big ones; X, BEO, USO, but then I'll do Baker and hopefully ride A LOT more powder then last year and film some more.
Anna: Next week it's the Dew Tour in Breck, my first big contest of the season. And for the rest of the season I don't really know yet. But probably do a bunch of contests and see how that goes. I also hope I get the chance to film a little bit outside of the park
Spencer O’Brien and Anna Gasser. PHOTO: Cyril Muller
Advise for up and coming riders?
Spencer: Have fun. You can't take this sport too seriously. I think the people who are the most passionate about it and who do it for themselves are the most successful in it.
Anna: Don't take snowboarding too serious, keep it fun!
Spencer O’Brien. Livigno, Italy. PHOTO: Cyril Muller
Spencer: Nike, Rockstar Energy, APO Snow, Mazda Canada, Nixon, Whistler/Blackcomb
Anna: Nike, RedBull, Nitro, Mini, Blut Tomato, Love