Halfpipe skiers are an odd bunch. Rather than chasing powder days or enjoying casual laps through the park, they choose instead to spend their time zig-zagging between vertical walls of ice. But Aaron Blunck is not your typical pipe skier.
For starters, Blunck is about as tenacious a competitor as they come. A three-time Olympian, four-time X Games medalist and two-time world champion, he’d rather go down hard swinging for the gold than playing it safe. And unlike other pipe skiers, Blunck also spends as much time as possible outside of the halfpipe—even to the point of going touring during contests.
The latest episode of Kore Stories from HEAD Skis, “The Bulldog” documents all this and more, following Aaron’s journey from his brutal crash in Saas Fee, Switzerland in 2020 to his third Olympic appearance in 2022 and a restorative road trip once the contest season comes to an end. The big finale: hitting the Mt. Baker road gap.
“The Bulldog” includes some great skiing and interesting introspection on Aaron’s part, but the most intriguing part might be the interview with his wife, Morgan McNallie. It’s hard to imagine the emotions involved in watching your significant other regularly huck himself through double corks in all four directions, knowing that any wrong move could lead to a hospital trip. In terms of tenacity, Morgan’s right up there Aaron.
From YouTube: Aaron Blunck is a three-time U.S. Olympic halfpipe skier, X Games gold medalist and FIS Freestyle World Champion.
After sustaining six broken ribs, a broken pelvis, lacerated kidney and bruised heart and lung while skiing in in Switzerland, the most traumatic injury of Blunck’s career shook his wife and his family, and had him questioning if he could and would continue competing at the level he had become accustomed to.
A naturally gifted freeskier, Blunck has a unique mindset when it comes to preparing for the sport’s biggest competitions. His love of solitude, storm days and skiing with like-minded individuals are often his methods of choice. Although this may seem like a foreign training approach to some, his countless podium appearances over the years are a testament to his inherent ability and pure love for the sport of skiing. In The Bulldog, we hit the road with Blunck on a two-week, cross-country road trip, during which he recounts two-and-a-half years of ups and downs, while we discover the intricate details that make him tick, as told by his wife Morgan.
Produced by HEAD & Jeff Thomas Creative
Directed & Edited by Jeff Thomas
Cinematography by Cole Pates, Jeff Thomas
Additional Cinematography by Graeme Meiklejohn, Mitch Winton, Ryan Regehr
Motion Design by Blair Richmond – Imperial Post