A rookie on this year's Freeride World Tour, Flylow athlete Emma Patterson is no stranger to heated competition. She earned her spot on the elite FWT after stellar qualifying results on the Freeride World Qualifier tour.
Hailing from the steeps of Taos, New Mexico, Patterson is now pursuing a master's degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. That's all while juggling the busy FWT travel schedule, which bounces from Japan to Canada to Andorra to Austria and Switzerland.
She had a stout line at the FWT in Hakuba, Japan, earlier this month, then got taken out in a tumble. But don't count this rookie out for making waves this season. She made the news recently because the Freeride World Tour is now paying women athletes the same as the men, after many years of the women competitors lobbying for equal pay.
"It’s one of the biggest steps that freeride has taken in the last five years, and freeride has grown exponentially in that time,” Patterson told Outside Magazine. “It gives validation to us as freeride women. I think it will really grow our sport in the long run.”
When asked how she's prepared for this FWT season, Patterson told Taos News, "Yep, I guess you could say I'm a little nervous. Nerves release the same endorphins as excitement though, right? I'm going into this competition season the same way as I always have — trail running for physical strength and trail racing for mental strength. I've come to realize that my mental strength going into winter is just as, if not more, important than physical strength ... Mentally, though, I challenge myself on a daily basis to have no expectations but still working to be my absolute best. I've practiced leaving my competitor's performance behind while only comparing myself to myself. I plan to approach this ski season the same, and could not be more excited (or nervous)."