Matt Sweet loves to chase the snow. The highly dedicated big mountain skier has already travelled the world in pursuit of his sport – and isn’t done yet. The 18-year-old juggles schoolwork at St Paul’s Collegiate with the demands of his chosen sport and thanks to the support of his family is managing to excel at both.
Having kicked off his year in style, spending time in Colorado where he competed against some of the best young male free-ride skiers in the world, that experience was the perfect preparation for a successful New Zealand season.
Matt carved up a storm back in New Zealand on some of his home ground, pulling off consistently classy performances at both the NZ Junior Nationals and Secondary Schools Championships. His results include two silver medals at the NZ Junior Nationals (Gravity Cross and Dual Slalom); and third overall in the NZ Junior Freeride Tour (comprised of three events at Remarkables, Mt Olympus and Mt Ruapehu). His results at the New Zealand Junior Freeride Tour saw him invited to the World Junior Freeride (Big Mountain) Tour in Andorra, Europe in February, 2017.
“I have been skiing since I was about three years old and have been in love with it ever since,” he says.
Fitness Journal finds out more ..
What is your highlight of the season?
Placing second at Mt Olympus Junior Freeride comp, because I put down a run that I was really proud of against some of the best juniors in the country.
What are the benefits of competing overseas?
There are huge benefits to training and competing overseas in Colorado. Firstly, the huge number of competitors in my age-group and secondly, the bigger terrain and level of competition.
What are the challenges?
Having to keep up with my school work!
What’s your favourite spot to train in NZ and why?
Treble Cone is a great ski field for Freeride skiers, not only because of the terrain but because there is a really good crew of top skiers who also compete on the world stage so I can push myself against them.
How you keep fit/train in the off season?
I go to Advance Physio and enjoy classes that are focused on stability training, core and lower body strength work without machines.
What does competing at the World Junior Freeride event involve?
Competing at this event is a huge honour for me and I’m stoked to be able to represent my country at the highest level for juniors in freeride. The world champs is held in Grandvalira, Andorra in early February, 2017 and will be streamed live at www.freerideworldtour.com.