Kari Traa Biography
After winning two world moguls titles, Kari Traa is the favorite to win the gold medal in Salt Lake City. She's been obliterating the competition with her speed and aerial creativity. "I feel really confident. I raced well all season and I think I can do the same in Salt Lake City. I just have to race like I have been," says Kari, after finishing her race at the World Cup Dual Moguls event in Whistler, BC. When Kari flies out of the gate at the moguls course in Salt Lake City, she'll be competing in her third Winter Olympics.
Kari Traa began skiing moguls on the hills around her home in Voss, Norway when she was 15. She wanted to join the freestyle ski club in her area but was too shy and scared of not knowing people. One day Kari was invited to compete in a competition in Voss and she finished second. Two years later she was competing at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France.
Kari Traa missed the cut for the final round and finished 14th in Albertville - the first official Olympic mogul competition. Kari did not compete when the Games came to Lillehammer, Norway in 1994. She ripped up her knee after wiping out on a training run just three weeks before the Olympics. After the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan - Kari finally had an Olympic medal to wear when she won bronze. The medal now hangs inside her favorite restaurant in her hometown of Voss. "Freestyle skiing is still pretty small in my country. Everyone knows all the cross-country skiers because that sport is so popular. But in the last two years I've been winning a lot so more people know of me," says Kari.
Kari believes blondes have more fun and that's one of the reasons for her success. "I'm always having fun when I'm on the course - even when I don't win the race. That's the best way to start in this sport. Go slow at first just over small jumps and play around. I'm still having fun - but now I'm going faster and over bigger jumps."
For more on this year's Olympics, head to www.saltlake2002.com.