Words by Jeff Schmuck

Photos by Jeff Schmuck, Darren Rayner & Ian Cosco

The Jon Olsson Super Sessions has begun. After a lengthy, tedious, but oh-so-worth-it trip to the glorious country of Sweden yesterday, the majority of the athletes, filmmakers and photographers participating in the highly anticipated and unique event descended on Stockholm for two weeks of what will surely be some of the most impressive skiing of the year.

the welcome meeting

Upon arrival, Jon called a meeting to thank everyone for coming and to go over some specifics of the competition. This year's format will be a touch different than last year, as the videos and photos will be shown and judged separately. Each team will produce a maximum five minute video edit of their two athletes while the photo portion will be broken down into categories, which are still being decided on, although the preliminary ideas included best action, best sunset, best flash work and best long lens. Each category of photos will be judged individually and then added up for a total score which will then be added to the video portion for an overall score to determine the winner. The percentage breakdown will be as follows: 1/5 for photo, 1/5 for film, 1/5 for overall impression, and 2/5 for skiing.

The first of the two weeks will be spent in Trysil, Norway where two monstrous features masterminded by Jon and constructed by his elite team of jump builders await. At the end of the first week the Sweet Rumble Big Air contest will take place and then the teams will head to Åre, Sweden for the last week of sessioning on three equally exciting and Jon Olsson-sized jumps. The competition will then culminate with the return of the infamous JOI followed by the gala awards ceremony where the teams will present their masterpieces to a capacity crowd and the judges.

After much moving and shaking over the past few weeks leading up to the event, the teams have been finalized and with the exception of a few athletes who are just finishing up the European Open in Laax, Switzerland (Dumont, Colby, Jossi, Russ, Henrik and Wallisch), everyone is here and ready to throw down. So without further ado, as I'm sure everyone is dying to know, here is the official line-up for the teams competing at JOSS...

Team USA

Rider 1: John Symms

Rider 2: Colby West

Filmer 1: Mike Thomas

Filmer 2: Josh Finbow

Photographer: Alex O'Brien

Team America

Rider 1: Simon Dumont

Rider 2: Tom Wallisch

Filmer 1: Josh Berman

Filmer 2: Tyler Hamlet

Photographer: Nate Abbott

Team Canada

Rider 1: TJ Schiller

Rider 2: Ian Cosco

Filmer 1: Darren Rayner

Filmer 2: Neil Sotirakopoulos

Photographer: Damien Cromwell

Team Sweden

Rider 1: Jon Olsson

Rider 2: Jacob Wester

Filmer 1: Johnny Decesare

Fimer 2: Drew Lederer

Photographer: Mattias Fredriksson

Team Norway

Rider 1: Andreas Håtveit

Rider 2: PK Hunder

Filmer 1: Jon Håtveit

Filmer 2: Filip Christensen

Photographer: Thomas Kleiven

Team Europe

Rider 1: Laurent Favre

Rider 2: Henrik Harlaut

Filmer 1: Christian Sander

Filmer 2: Joakim Aslund

Photographer: Erik Wibaeus

Team Down Under

Rider 1: Jossi Wells

Rider 2: Russ Henshaw

Filmer 1: Kris Ostness

Filmer 2: Rob Norman

Photographer: Tony Harrington

After the meeting, which saw numerous ideas thrown around surrounding the specifics of the format (which Jon is open to as always, as he prides his contest on being for the athletes and by the athletes), we were whisked away in a stretch limo to a club packed to the rafters with free booze and hot Swedish women in true JOSS form.

Team Canada rocks the stretch limo. NBD.

snus vending machine = heaven

Chug vs Sweden

Voleurz' Darren Rayner & the man behind the scenes of JOSS, Peter Sidebo

Drew Lederer...gettin it done

TJ Schiller, happy to be back in Sweden

Jon on the other hand opted to drive his brand new (brand new as in two days old) Lamborghini to the venue, which he traded his old one in for and spiced it up with a jet black paint job, matching ski box, and stickers promoting his freshly announced new goggle company YNIQ (pronounced: unique). More on this over the course of the week.

The late hours of the night turned into the wee hours of the morning, and to no one's surprise, we were still partying and having a grand ol' time enjoying the wonders of Stockholm before heading back to our hotel for a solid two hours of sleep.

Darren Rayner after not partying

We awoke to a pimped out tour bus wrapped roof-to-wheels in Jon Olsson Super Sessions imagery waiting outside our door to take us to Norway. And when I say pimped out tour bus, I mean it in a way that would make Motley Crue and Snoop Dogg proud.

John Symms + plush leather = beauty sleep

We promptly took advantage of the plush seating and grabbed a few hours of shut eye before catching up with old friends and sharing stories from the winter that is sadly nearing its end. After a quick pit stop at Max Burger (think Sweden's version of In-N-Out), which is one of the sponsors of the event and was featuring an advertised Jon Olsson Super Sessions value meal, we arrived in Trysil at the brand spankin new Radisson hotel, our home away from home for the week.

the keys

After we checked in Jon distributed the coveted and all-important keys, and announced that the Super Sessions will begin tomorrow afternoon on either of the two features depending on weather.

We've yet to lay eyes on the jumps themselves, but here's a tease of what the boys will giving it their all on both here in Trysil and Åre...


The Trickbuster

The Super Combo Kicker


The City Hip

The Reverse Transfer Gap

The Semi-Floater

Jon will be sitting down with us in the next day or two to explain all the features in detail and reveal the concepts behind them and why they were built the way they were.

Stay tuned to NS as we'll be dropping updates featuring words, photos and episodes of NSTV (produced by the super rad Christian 'Cheech' Sander, who will be pulling double duty by filming for NSTV and Team Europe) every day or every second day (again, depending on weather) over the next two weeks from the Jon Olsson Super Sessions. Here's episode one. Enjoy...

NSTV: JOSS Episode 1

Also be sure to keep yourself glued to http://www.jon-olsson.com and http://www.josupersessions.com for updates from JOSS as Jon and his team will be showcasing a different videoblog on each site. The blog on Jon's site will follow Jon around over the course of the next two weeks, while the JOSS site will feature a blog on the event itself. Plus Jacob Wester has a cool new videoblog going on over at http://www.jacobwester.com, so be sure to check it out.