“Sometimes skiing is the hardest thing you do in life and sometimes skiing gets you through the hardest times in life.
Passionate and driven, that’s undoubtedly the best way to describe me, Isabelle Hanssen, born on April 3rd 1994 in The Netherlands. Started Freestyle Skiing in 2009, and since then, my entire existence has been forever changed. Skiing quickly became more than just a hobby—it became an all-consuming addiction. Let me assure you, there's no feeling quite like the euphoria of landing a new trick successfully for the first time. I fell in love with the playful, creative and progressive side of the sport, and later the competitive scene.
Over the past decade, I've traveled the world, competing in high-level halfpipe competitions. Any competitor will vouch for the indescribable feeling of flawlessly executing a run precisely when it matters most. My passion for skiing consistently drives me to exceed my own limits and strive for my full potential.
However, last year, I arrived at a significant crossroads in my personal journey. After much contemplation, I made the conscious decision to step away from competitive halfpipe skiing. This choice was influenced by numerous factors that ultimately led me here. I've devoted my life and poured my heart and soul into reaching the point I'm at today. But I made a promise to myself that if it ever stopped being enjoyable, it would stop being worth it. And winter 21/22 marked that very turning point.
Rest assured, my love for skiing runs deep—profoundly coursing through every fiber of my being. This transition does not signify the end of my skiing journey, far from it! I'm just saying goodbye to the competitive side of the sport as an athlete.
I am now embarking on a journey of self-discovery as both an athlete and a skier, seeking to redefine my place within the skiing industry. Naturally inclined to seek progress and innovative solutions, I am wholeheartedly exploring new avenues that align with my passion for skiing. These include delving into content creation and embracing the realms of judging and coaching through my involvement with Freeski Global.
Moreover, beyond my personal pursuits, I will stay committed to promoting freestyle skiing in The Netherlands, fostering growth within the community, and rallying support for fellow skiers here.
“Traveling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”
When I tell people what I do for a living, I usually receive incredulous responses related to “living the dream.” While not a day goes by that I’m not appreciative of the opportunities I have, I also know the behind-the-scenes efforts that go into skiing more than 150 days a year, all over the globe. Accomplishing this lifestyle essentially goes against everything our society has taught us is “normal”. Staying focused is critical.
To truly live as a professional skier, every day has to count and not just once, instead more like three times. What does this mean? Well, simply put: each day must serve multiple purposes. A day in the mountains may start at 6 in the morning and go until four in the afternoon. And when most people head to the bar or the hot tub, I go to the gym. On top of that, I have to constantly be preparing for the following day, as well as months into the future. Detailed plans laid well in advance make for smooth sailing.
I believe this pulse will contribute longevity to my life professionally and personally, physically and mentally. I never really escape winter; it’s always on my mind. On any given day, even in June, it’s likely that I’m planning, preparing, training or recovering. But this is the balance that I hope allows me to stay sharp, motivated, and at the top of my game throughout the year.
Being an elite athlete encompasses far more than mere training and competition; it is a way of life. Every choice you make, from your attire and personal presentation to how you invest your time and who you spend it with, contributes to shaping your unique individuality and character.
Doing something I love every day doesn’t make my life easier, but I never found happiness by just choosing what would hurt the least. On the other side of my pain, was purpose.
I made a personal commitment to go above and beyond to unlock my full potential, and that includes prioritizing training and nutrition. From the beginning, my journey in training was fueled by the desire to mitigate the risk of injury and enhance my skiing abilities. As time went on, my passion for training developed, becoming an essential part of my everyday life.
The thing about the gym is that, in a world that constantly frames women's health around our need to get smaller, it's the only place I've found where goals are all about increasing. As women, we are bombarded with the message that we are too big. We need to take up less space, to make the numbers on the scale go down, to measure our waists with fewer inches. We are told to shrink. To me, that is not health.
In the gym, however, the narrative shifts. Unless one's focus revolves around reducing weight, the numbers trend upward, not downward. Muscles grow stronger, the weights lifted become heavier, plank-holding endurance extends, and the number of exercises you can master get more numerous.
And most importantly, it all makes me feel good. It's even – dare I say it – fun. It's fun to move in new ways. It's fun to watch your progress. Because at the end of the day, bodies aren't for looking at, they're for living in. So, the real measure of how great they are is whether you can do everything you want in them. And the more stuff you can do, the more awesome that is.
“We all have challenges and opportunities on the road of life and it’s within our power to channel them in ways to support our dreams.”
11 times Dutch Champion ( 4 x Slopestyle 4 x Big Air 3 x Halfpipe ).
Ranked 14th in the World Cup standings 2021.
18th Place World Cup - Mammoth Mountain, United States of America
21st Place World Cup - Calgary, Canada
15th Place World Cup - Calgary, Canada
1st Place European Cup - Laax, Switzerland
14th Place World Cup - Aspen, United States of America
7th Place Nor-Am Cup - Calgary, Canada
18th Place World Cup - Calgary, Canada
1st Place European Cup - Crans Montana, Switzerland
13th Place World Cup - Secret Garden, China
11th Place Winter Games NZ World Cup - Cardrona, New Zealand
9th Place Australian New Zealand Cup - Cardrona, New Zealand
3rd Place European Cup - Laax, Switzerland
16th Place UE Freestyle Tour World Cup - Tignes, France
Get In Touch
Contact Isabelle Hanssen
KvK # 72183837