Meet Juliette Willmann, the French freeride skier based in Chamonix. In addition to being a fierce freerider competing in the Freeride World Tour, during summer’s she is also competing in the Enduro Series– and is therefore an all-year Sweet Protection athlete. We could not be prouder to welcome Juliette to our team!
“We grew up skiing, they gave me their passion”
Juliette grew up in the little town in the alps, Barcelonnette, and started skiing at the age of two with her family, with one parent as a ski coach and the other one as a ski instructor – and her sister on the French Alpine ski team for years. Until the age of 18 she did a lot of alpine racing and competed in Alpine FIS Races for two years before she decided that racing wasn’t for her. It was later on as a ski-trainer for the little ski resort she finally discovered what Freeride was all about. Even though she had done a lot of off-piste and touring as a youngster, she had never entered a Freeride contest before.
The complete feeling of freedom
Her first year on the Freeride World Qualifier was in 2015, where she only did a few competitions – but decided to push more the following year. She definitely did, and in 2016 she got the impressive 2nd place in the FWQ (Europe-Oceana)!
When she turned to freeride, she describes her passion for skiing growing even bigger – with focus on the fun of being out in the mountains and a complete feeling of freedom. Juliette underlines that this is what freeride is all about for her – freedom and pleasure.
Even though she got a fast upturn in the freeride community, the road hasn’t been free of injuries. Juliette states that these are the moments that have definitely been the toughest, but also very meaningful in regards to all the lessons she learned by going through them.
In December 2016 she tore her ACL, and was off for the whole 2017 season. When she came back on skis for the 2017-2018 season, she won the Freeride World Qualifier and hence also won her entry card for the Freeride World Tour (FWT).
She describes the first two years on the FWT as physically and mentally hard. She twisted her knee ligaments in 2019 and had the worst head concussion of her career in 2020. Nevertheless, she never gave up and FWT gave her the opportunity for a comeback in 2021. It became her best one yet, with two podiums and a 4th place.
As if this wasn’t enough, during the summers she’s a mountain bike instructor and guide, and in 2021 she also started competing in Enduro. In addition to competing year around – she's also fond of taking part of various movie projects.
Let’s get personal! Check out the Q&A we did with Juliette.
I probably have around 10 nicknames.
Collaborating with a brand created by passionate people is the most important thing for me. My favorite product? Oh, I love the Grimnir 2Vi Mips Helmet!
My passion for skiing. I’ve always been a skier and that’s my guideline in life. The experience I have thanks to my passion makes me feel alive and I can’t imagine a life without skiing.
The Freeride World tour, for sure! Besides the competitions, we are living the dream on the world tour. The mood is amazing, as much on skis as at the after party.
A gremlin, ask my friend! It’s been my nickname for years now, and I can understand why (even more after midnight).
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Sam Beaugey’s “Sales Gosses” (Bad kids). He is a mountaineer and a mountain guide. In his book he tells the stories of his life, expeditions, missions, skiing, climbing and partying. His stories made me dream and they reminded me that we only have this one life and that we should live it 100 %.
“Man! I feel like a woman”, by Shania Twain.
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For winter 2021, we launched a very special collab project together with two times Olympic Medalist, World Championship medalist and World Cup Winner. She is one of the most dangerous alpinists you could face in a race – but the kindest spirit you will meet when the clock isn’t ticking, Ragnhild Mowinckel.