Shades of Winter Athletes | Janina Kuzma

To celebrate our sponsorship and the outstanding athletes involved in the Shades of Winter free ski project we sat down with each of the athletes to chat through what the film means to them and what inspires them to get out every day to unleash their remarkable.

Second up in the series is professional free skier and Olympic athlete Janina Kuzma. Hailing from New Zealand Janina had to travel far and wide for the perfect powder, this didn’t affect her love and drive for the sport. Janina’s drive has allowed her to become one of the most recognised athletes in the freesking world. Specialized in Freestyle and Backcountry she doesn’t have to care much about where she’s at, because no matter if it’s park or powder it sure is to be spectacular. Janina’s appearance in the latest Shades of Winter production BETWEEN is not her first one. She has worked with the crew before and can be sine in PURE and in SHADES OF WINTER.


“Shades of Winter for me is about charging and pushing myself to be the best skier I can be and the most bad ass skier I can be. I hope it can inspire younger girls trying to get into the sport and show them that with a lot of hard work there can be a career for women in freeskiing” 

Check out our interview to get some behind the scenes information from Janina.

Biggest Achievement: Winner of the World Cup in Copper Mountain 2014, Olympic competitor in Sotchi (RUS)

Ski Focus: Freestyle and back-country

Q. What was your first experience of skiing?

Janina. My first time skiing was when I was 5 years old on a family holiday in the Arlberg, Austria.

Q. When did you know that you wanted to dedicate your life to skiing?

Janina. I’ve always been drawn to skiing. I remember when I 12 years old at school doing an essay about how I wanted to be a professional skier and it all has progressed from there.

Q. Who was your biggest inspiration throughout your career?

Janina. Ingrid Backstrom. I love watching her ski in the MSP movies. She’s an amazing skier and also a really cool chick.

Q. How did you meet Sandra Lahnsteiner and become part of the Shades of Winter project?

Janina. I first met Sandra at a FWQ event in Fieberbrunn, Austria. We were both competing together. A while later she asked me if I’d like to be in her first movie Shades of Winter. And of course I said YES!!!!

Q. What has been your favourite experience while filming the Shades of Winter movie?

Janina. There’s so many but I’d have to say when the SOW crew came to New Zealand and filmed in my home town Wanaka.

Q. What was your toughest experience in your career to date?

Janina. Definitely dealing with Matilda’s passing. We spent a lot of time together throughout the last 3 years filming with SOW and on the FWT.

Q. What is your favourite event to compete in during the winter season?

Janina. X GAMES!!! It’s such a cool atmosphere.

Q. Walk me through a day in your life in the run up to a contest?

Janina. I make sure I have a good nights sleep. I wake up early and have a healthy breakfast. I do a Pilates warm up for my back and then head to the gym to do a potentiation warm up with my strength and conditioning trainer to get my muscles firing before the event.

Q. Do you use any apps on your phone while training or out on the slopes?

Janina. I use Spotify when I’m working out in the gym to keep me in the zone.

Q. What is your favourite location to ski?

Janina. New Zealand of Course! I love riding at my home mountain Cardrona and also Treble Cone

Q. What’s next for you? 

Janina. My next big goal is to podium at the next winter Olympics in South Korea.

Follow Janina to to keep up with here adventures.

Stay tuned for the next athlete feature in the Shades of Winter series.


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Alan Lund

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