This month, extreme freestyle skier Kevin Rolland (and G.H. Mumm Champagne) debuted his brand new short film, Fast Forward: The Eclipse which is filled with ski tricks and stunts down the mountain and through a series of obstacles during the day and at night.
27-year old Rolland has won 7 medals for SKI SuperPipe during his ten X Games appearances. He took home an Olympic bronze for the halfpipe in Sochi in 2014, and is the World Champion in Ski Freestyle (2016). We took some time to find out more about "The Flying Frenchman",
ATHLEISURE MAG: How did you get into skiing and how did you know that this would be your career?
KEVIN ROLLAND: I’ve been skiing since I was born! I grew up in the French Alps – the La Plagne resort was my backyard. I quickly developed a love of jumping on the slopes at a very young age. I was on a club team by the age of 8 and started freestyle skiing at 12, so I’ve always known my path.
AM: What are you most proud of in terms of your accomplishments – medaling 9 times at the X Games, your bronze medal at Sochi or your World Champion in ski freestyle?
KR: I would have to say my five gold medals at the X Games mean the most to me, as its about winning the ultimate prize in my sport. But the Olympic medal is something much more rare, and it really touches people. The level of recognition you get after winning an Olympic medal is big; it’s not just people who follow the sport, it’s also the 80 year old grandmother on the street who congratulates you, it really reaches a bigger audience around the world.
AM: What do you love about freestyle tricks and stunts and how do you come up with them?
KR: Tricks are what’s so exciting about the sport. You have to always be pushing your boundaries if you want to win. I love the summer season, as that’s when you put what you have come up with in your mind and test it out on giant bags. I’m always working on new and challenging tricks.
AM: We enjoyed watching Fast Forward; what can we expect from the sequel Fast Forward: The Eclipse?
KR: We have some really cool jumps from day to night and back, and have experimented with a lot of colors – it looks amazing. We also have some celebration scenes with Mumm – we wanted to bring that to life creatively and I think we’ve incorporated the brand in a really unexpected way.
AM: How long does it take to film these tricks and stunts and how many takes?
KR: This film took a month to shoot (we shot in April) and that was shooting every single day. So much depends on the snow conditions, so you have to adapt. It was a lot to plan, but it was great to shoot this in my home resort of La Plagne, and really show it off. We had a great team and Julian and I are both from La Plagne, so we wanted to go from the highest peak in the Alps to the base of the resort town, the roads – we skied everything!
AM: How did your partnership come about with G.H. Mumm and how are they involved in this film that has debuted?
KR: Maison Mumm approached me last year, and the partnership came together with ease. I like to work with brands that feel elevated, but also innovative. Freestyle skiing is what I do, but making films allows me to have a creative side. Working with Mumm has been cool because we have been able to work together on this film in a way that feels natural.
AM: What does Mumm’s motto of “Dare, Win, Celebrate” mean to you?
KR: I think it means that I must always be pushing my limits, try to always do new, pioneering tricks and the rush of adrenaline that leads to a win and celebration.
AM: Do you have plans to compete at the next Olympics?
KR: Yes, I’m already training with the plan to be in South Korea in 2018 to compete.
AM: When you’re not skiing, how do you relax and give time to yourself?
KR: When I’m not skiing, I love free diving. I’ve trained in Monaco with the world champion in free diving. I can go 50 meters and hold my breath for 5 minutes. It actually really helps with the mental part of training for my sport – you learn to clear your mind to conquer challenge.
AM: Are there any fitness methods that you do outside of skiing?
KR: I work with a trainer all year long. When I’m not on skis (which is all day long), I work out twice a day with different forms of cardio and weights. When I am on skis, I have one day off every 4-5 days.