Jonny Moseley has had a wonderful athletic career as a skier in the Olympics and the X Games.
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1975, Jonny hit snow for the first time when his family relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1978. He had early success in skiing and the people around him took notice; people were mentioning the words ‘Olympics’ and ‘Jonny’ in the same breath before he had reached middle school
In 1993 he was selected to the US Ski Team and after narrowly missing a spot on the 1994 Olympic team, Jonny began preparing himself for the 1998 Olympic Games reciting the mantra ”I don’t just want to go, I want to win”.
In 1997 Jonny put school on hold and became a full time skier for the first time in his life. He won the first two World Cup events of the 1997/1998 season, and secured a spot on the US
Olympic team. Jonny arrived in Nagano, Japan
in February of 1998 and one week later he won the first American gold medal of the Games with what had become his signature move, the mute-grab.
Jonny threw himself into celebrating with the same intensity he dedicated to training but not before returning to the World Cup, winning the last two events of the season and securing the 1998 World Cup mogul skiing title as well as the US National title with nine wins on the season.
Jonny reached the apex of mogul skiing and he was rewarded. The U.S. Olympic Committee honored him by naming him Sportsman of the Year, Rolling Stone magazine named him to their Sports Hall of Fame and Cindy Crawford posed with him for the cover of Freeskier magazine.
After his Olympic win, Jonny looked beyond the World Cup circuit to round out his skills as a skier. He challenged the International Skiing Federation (FIS) to allow their athletes to compete in professional events and entered ESPN’s X-Games taking second place with his newly developed trick, the Dinner Roll. FIS and the US Ski Team acquiesced and today it is considered standard for athletes to compete in both pro and amateur events throughout their careers.
Jonny spent the next three years competing in pro events, filming segments for ski movies and honing his understanding of the ‘business’ of skiing. He trademarked the Jonny Moseley logo, co-branded product lines with several of his sponsors, developed a video game and hosted “Snow Zone with Jonny Mosley” for Fox Sports Net.
When Jonny decided to try to return to the Olympics, he went up against the FIS for a second time. He lobbied them to allow him to perform his Dinner Roll in the moguls. The FIS voted by a tally of 3-2 to allow the Dinner Roll in World Cup competition but Jonny was having difficulty with the execution and the judges were not responding to the innovativeness of the trick.
As the Olympics in Salt Lake City
approached, the Dinner Roll finally clicked for Jonny in the moguls. Jonny made the personal and pivotal decision that it was more important to represent the US
, his sport, and himself with his own style than to repeat the tried and tested tricks. In his second appearance in the Olympics, he executed a perfect Dinner Roll in the semi-finals and another in the finals. Jonny thrilled the crowd and the judges awarded him fourth place.
Jonny did not take home a medal from Salt Lake
but being true to his style brought him honors of another kind.
Later that year he hosted Saturday Night Live, delivered the commencement address at University of California
, was declared one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Eligible Bachelors and hosted a series for MTV. He also watched his sport evolve as the FIS legalized inverted tricks in the moguls. Today, it would be unlikely to find someone on the podium in world-class mogul competition who wasn’t executing a version of the Dinner Roll.
Jonny currently lives in California. His weekends are devoted to speaking engagements and maintaining his relationships with his sponsors as well as lending his name and time in support of his favorite charitable organizations. He continues to do hosting work for MTV and broadcasting for ESPN, CBS and NBC and he has a weekly radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio. As you might imagine, it is not all work for Jonny. He is back in the world of competitive sailing, a hobby he put aside for skiing as a kid. Once a competitor, always a competitor.