Olympics-For snowboarders and skiers, tunes and good vibes fuel Olympic chill – Metro US

Olympics-For snowboarders and skiers, tunes and good vibes fuel Olympic chill

Freestyle Skiing – Men’s Freeski Slopestyle – Final – Medal
Freestyle Skiing – Men’s Freeski Slopestyle – Final – Medal Ceremony

ZHANGJIAKOU, China (Reuters) – For skiers and snowboarders at the Beijing Olympics, getting into the right headspace before dropping in is half the battle. That’s where music – and good vibes – comes in.

It is pretty common at the starting line of any snowboarding or freestyle skiing event to see riders bobbing their heads and swaying as they prepare to jump in.

American skier Alex Hall, who won gold at the men’s slopestyle final on Wednesday, said he prefers not to wear headphones during contests but listens to music between his runs with his teammates.

“Colby (Stevenson) was jamming on the speaker up at the top, just some good old vibe songs … all the boys chilling together having a good time listening to some tunes,” Hall said, mentioning a fellow U.S. freestyle skier.

Canadian Max Moffatt, who had a disappointing ninth place finish in the slopestyle event, said he uses music to calm his nerves before competitions.

“Sometimes I listen to classical music to kind of chill me out,” he said, adding that he wasn’t even sure which song he had been listening to earlier in the day.

“I honestly don’t know who it was, I just have a playlist that says ‘piano’ and I just shuffle,” the 23-year-old said.

Eileen Gu, who’s quickly become the most visible face of the Beijing Olympics, is also a fan of listening to music before and during competitions, switching out the genre depending on the event.

At the women’s freeski slopestyle final on Tuesday Gu chose Lady Gaga. At Big Air last week where she took gold, Gu said she was vibing to $uicideboy$, a New Orleans-based hip hop duo.

“My music varies a lot, really depends on how I feel that day,” she said.

Chinese teen phenom Su Yiming, who won a Big Air snowboarding gold this week to make him the country’s youngest Winter Games champion, has quickly become known for more than his sporting achievements.

Online fans searched for songs that Su used as background music to his snowboarding videos on social media, compiling them all into Su-themed playlists that have since gone viral on China’s Twitter-like Weibo.

One of the playlists has been downloaded more then 32,000 times in just the last few days.

According to the playlists, Su, 17, is partial to Justin Bieber and Drake, with plenty of Post Malone thrown in.

“It just exactly matched my tastes,” said one Weibo user in Mandarin after listening to some of Su’s favourites.

“All those snowboarders have swag,” they said.

(Reporting by Mari Saito and Winni Zhou; editing by Richard Pullin)