Nadine's Rise to the Top
Nadine Wallner started competing in freeride contests in 2011. By 2013, she won her first overall title on the Freeride World Tour, the most elite big-mountain freeskiing contest. In 2014, she proved it wasn't just beginner's luck when she defended her title, winning for the second year in a row.
Wallner grew up in Klsterle, Austria, and got her start as a ski racer. But her father was a mountain guide, and eventually, the lure of big-mountain terrain drew her in.
Climb to the Top
After a few injuries, she ended her career as a ski racer and got her certification to become a ski instructor. That gave way to freeriding. "Since I completed my education as a state certified ski instructor and ski guide, my focus, with all my passion, has been on my freeride career," Wallner says.
Her Rookie Year
That focus paid off in 2013, when Wallner won her first overall title on the Freeride World Tour, then a relative unknown in the world of competitive big-mountain skiing and in just her first year on the FWT. "That year I was quite relaxed," she says. "I was the unknown rookie of the FWT, so I didn't have any pressure or expectations."
Pushing Her Boundaries
"This year on the FWT, it was different. There were eyes on me, more pressure on me," she says. "But nevertheless I tried to again find the easy way of my style of skiing and tried to ski what I wanted to ski. But also to push myself to my borders. Which is what this sport is about."
Two Years Running
In 2014, she stood her ground as the top-ranked female competitor overall on the FWT. "I cannot describe what I feel about my second overall win," she says. "It is still so incredible and unbelievable to me. The meaning of the second win is for sure higher than the first one."
When she's not winning world titles, Wallner guides in Austria's Arlberg region and attends university in Innsbruck.
Back to the FWT
She plans to compete on the Freeride World Tour again next winter. "I love to compete on the FWT. It's so much fun and it's also pushing me in my skiing," Wallner says. "I've already learned so much in terms of how to look at the mountain and do different things out there. The community is so insane and you could get so much experience on the FWT."
Next year's Freeride World Tour stop will only feature three stops for the women, down from four this year. "It's for sure hard to take the focus just on three contests and show the right performance at the right time," Wallner says about the schedule change. "You're not even allowed to fail once. It's going to be hard."
Woman to Watch
Nadine Wallner is just getting started in her freeskiing career. So keep an eye out for her as a woman to watch in the winters to come.