Kaya Turski has won seven X Games gold medals in Women's Ski Slopestyle. In February, she'll be a top contender from Canada for a gold medal in slopestyle's Olympic debut in Sochi, Russia.
In March, Turski became the first woman in ski slopestyle to four-peat at the X Games when she earned her fourth gold medal in as many years at X Games Tignes.
"I feel like I've put a lot of work into what I do, both mentally and physically," Turski says. "I think that's why I've done well. Hard work pays off and having the right mentality."
In August while training at Mount Hood, Ore., Turski tore her ACL for the third time. Just six months away from the Sochi Olympics, she opted for an experimental ACL surgery that uses a synthetic ligament to cut recovery time in half.
On the mental struggles associated with her injury, Turski says, "Dealing with something like this for the first time is a big mental game. ... But I've done it twice already, so it's not going to freak me out."
Turski grew up in Montreal and got her start as a professional inline skater. At 14, she won the Inline Skating Amateur World Championships.
When she was 17, Turski rediscovered skiing. She moved to Whistler, British Columbia, and began skiing slopestyle. She won the first contest she entered, the Vermont Open in 2006. That paved the way for where she is today.
Top of her Game
"It's a great feeling to come out on top again," Turski said after winning in Tignes, France, last season.
Turski hopes to represent Canada in Sochi in February. "To have the opportunity to represent not just myself but also my nation, it's a huge opportunity," she says.
Her recent injury has fueled Turski's fire, making her want to be even stronger come Sochi. "I truly believe I have it in me to continue on and do what I do best," she says.