The feeling of nervous excitement felt by freeskier Margaux Hackett before a competition is the same she feels when standing on a platform hundreds of meters above the ground before a bungee jump.
“I don’t do them very often, I mean I’ve probably done a lot more than the average person, I’ve probably done over 100 bungys, but I’m still a little nervous sometimes so it really stays. exciting, ”Hackett said.
The daughter of bungee jumping icon AJ Hackett has been selected to represent New Zealand at the Beijing Winter Olympics next year.
Margaux Hackett will participate in the freeski slopestyle and big air events.
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The 22-year-old, based in Wānaka, said it was “quite special” to be included in the first wave of New Zealand athletes selected for Beijing 2022, after narrowly missing Pyeongchang in 2018.
“I worked really hard for it. I narrowly missed the last one three years ago, so being able to qualify before the end of the qualifying period means a lot, ”she said.
“It’s really cool to be part of the team now and it’s a real privilege to be able to represent Aotearoa.”
Born and raised in Annecy, France, Hackett described herself as “half French and half Kiwi.”
She was four when she did her first bungee jump and a similar age when she learned to ski.
Although Hackett jumped in a different direction than her daredevil father, she said thrill seeking is in her DNA.
“I started quite young. I was four when I was first thrown off a tower, but I loved it and it’s definitely in me, all the adrenaline, ”she said.
“I certainly wasn’t forced, but I guess seeing my dad doing it all the time and my brothers, even though one of my brothers didn’t do it until they were 14 because he was really very scared.
“But I wasn’t really scared of it, I was just excited to be a part of it and I can’t really explain it. It’s just part of who I am.
Hackett first got a taste of competition when she joined an alpine ski club in the French Alps.
But she wanted a thrill and switched to freestyle skiing, where athletes perform tricks instead of running.
“When I was about 11, I decided I wanted to do something different. I tried with the freestyle club and absolutely loved it,” she said.
“I found it so much more fun and fulfilling. I loved a new challenge and now I’m here.
Hackett said she has dreamed of competing in the Winter Olympics since her father took her to the event in Sochi in 2014.
“Dad ended up creating a bungee jumping site in Sochi so he was going there a lot and I ended up going with him so we ended up going as spectators and I watched the Olympics and saw the level of skiing.
“I had already started the park by then and I think it started even more and I thought I could definitely do it and it was a moment that really inspired me.
“It made me realize that I wanted it even more than I thought at the time.”
Hackett has reached new heights in the past two years, rebounding from the disappointment of missing out on selection for the 2018 Winter Olympics to reach numerous top 10s at major international events, including fifth place in big air and eighth in slopestyle at the 2020 X Games Norway.
This season she finished eighth at the Freeski Slopestyle World Cup in Switzerland.
Looking ahead to his Olympic Winter Games debut, Hackett said his goal was “to go out there and do my best.”
“And I hope that also means bringing back a medal, I’m just going to put it there,” she said.
“But I have a lot of work to do between now and then so I’m working hard and I hope it pays off.”