Norwegian Freeskiing Legend Johanne Killi Announces Retirement at Age 25

by Simon Naylor | Published: September 27th, 2023 |  Ski News

Oslo, Norway - Johanne Killi, one of the most dominant freeskiers in recent history, announced her retirement from professional competition on Monday at just 25 years old. Killi leaves behind an illustrious career filled with groundbreaking tricks, podium finishes, and some of the most progressive women's freeskiing ever witnessed.

Known to her friends and competitors as "JoJo" or "YoYo," Killi burst onto the international scene as a teenager, winning the Laax Open slopestyle competition in Switzerland at age 16. This marked the beginning of a meteoric rise to stardom for the Norwegian phenom.

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Over the next decade, Killi cemented herself as a fierce competitor and fan favorite, accruing an astounding 19 podium finishes in 38 FIS World Cup starts. This includes 6 victories, along with a bronze medal at the 2023 Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships in Bakuriani, Georgia.

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A Storybook Final Season

In what would end up being the final season of her career, Killi put together one of the most dominant years ever witnessed in women's slopestyle. She reached the podium in all 5 World Cup slopestyle events, earning 2 gold medals in the process. This led to Killi claiming the season titles for both the slopestyle crystal globe and the overall FIS freeskiing crown.

The Norwegian superstar called it a career on a high note, solidifying her place in history as one of the greatest slopestyle skiers of her generation. "It feels good to go out on top," she remarked in an interview with FIS.

An Illustrious X Games Career

Beyond her FIS World Cup heroics, Killi also made a name for herself at X Games events. She retires with 7 X Games medals to her name, including gold from Hafjell, Norway in 2018. That victory on home soil stands out as one of the highlights of her career.

"My whole family was there and so many of my friends were there, and just doing it in front of the Norwegian people in general, that was super cool," Killi told FIS.

With her competitive fire fading in recent years, the decision to walk away was not an easy one for Killi. However, she remains excited to take on new challenges and support the next generation of up-and-coming female freeskiers.

A Bright Future in Coaching

While her days of competing may be behind her, Killi plans to stay involved in the sport she loves by taking up a new role as a coach. She will serve as head coach for a developmental freeski program targeted at young Norwegian girls aged 13-18.

"I'm really happy to be a part of it," Killi said. "I'll be giving advice from my own career and trying to get more girls into the sport and help them early in their careers."

After a decade spent pushing the progression of the sport through her own skiing, Killi now hopes to fuel the next generation of talent by mentoring and inspiring young athletes. Her outgoing personality and depth of experience make her an ideal mentor.

A Lasting Impact

At just 25 years old, Johanne Killi leaves behind a competitive career full of groundbreaking moments that advanced women's freeskiing. From the slopes of the X Games to FIS World Cup podiums across the globe, she inspired countless young fans and fellow competitors.

While her name may now disappear from start lists, Killi's legacy and influence will live on. She retires as one of the most successful and well-liked athletes to ever grace the sport of freeskiing.