Formerly a Pro-Skier, Mirjam Jaeger decided to put an end to her elite-athlete career after winning several X-Games & World Championship medals to become a TV Host an Model. And turns out, she’s somehow managed to rock both worlds.
She’s now back in her home city, Zurich, after a life-time competing around the world:
I’ve always been into Sports and competed in figure skating, athletics, snowboarding and skiing. I got my first sponsors when I was 15 and my parents then transferred me to a Sport School where I could spend more time on the snow and less in the classroom. It just kind of happened but until I was around 20 I had always wanted to become a lawyer.
“When I started to compete in snowboarding in 1998, Freeskiing didn’t exist yet. As soon as I saw the first Twin Tip Skis (Freestyle Skis) a few years later I wanted to try them and it was love at first sight. I was good at it right away. It was trendy and my sponsors loved the idea of me exchanging the board for skis so that’s what I did. I really don’t miss snowboarding at all!”
The moment my career took off was definitely my silver medal at X-Games back in 2008.
I was the 1st skier to implement right side spins into my competition run and that was a game changer. I was the rookie that had nothing to loose but all to win. Unfortunately a week later I tore my ACL at the US Open (where got 2nd as well).
Winning a medal at the X Games was one of my biggest dreams come true. It was my 2 nd time competing in the X- Games and I knew I had what it took to snag that medal. The nice thing was nobody expected it as my knee was already hurt from the World Cup right before X-Games and I couldn’t really practice. Back in the days it was unusual for a Euro to be on the X- Games Podium as well, that made it ever better.
“I’m the most thankful to my parents because without them I wouldn’t have had the chance to become a Pro Skier in first place. My dad really didn’t like me dropping out of Law School back in the days neither and I guess I’d feel the same with my kid but it in the end it was all worth it.”
I skied the most amazing mountains on this planet but I ‘d have to say that my craziest experience would be the Olympics. Not simply because of the competition day but because of the whole Olympic experience. It’s not everyday that the best athletes in the world gather at one place. You get to meet them all, watch them compete and the whole world is watching. A once in a lifetime experience.
Most amazing place you’ve ever skied at?
That’s a hard one but I’d pick Japan. The skiing together with the different culture is a unique experience. I’d love to go back one day!
The accomplishment I’m the proudest of is not a medal I won but it’s the accomplishment of working myself back to the top after each injury I’ve suffered. I’ve had 3 knee surgeries, a fractured back etc. Every time I injured myself the fear of doing certain tricks or skiing in certain conditions got bigger and bigger. To have been able to overcome that fear and have the strength to come back after so many injuries is definitely something I’m very proud of.
“As an athlete you know that you will have to retire eventually which is, at first, a very sad thought. Fortunately for me, I wasn’t having that much fun skiing anymore. It was a real fight towards the end. The injuries took the fun out of skiing and I had to work with a sports psychologist for years to try to get rid of the fear of getting injured again. Skiing just didn’t mean the same to me anymore. When I won the Bonze Medal in last years World Championships it was clear that the time has come to immediately retire.”
It’s a luxury to be able to retire on top.
I already started to host events while I was skiing because I knew that that’s what I wanted to do after my skiing career. The transition wasn’t easy and the first winter not competing and not being on snow was very harsh. I didn’t really know what I was waking up for in the mornings. I really love what I do now though and I’m extremely happy. I just need to prove myself again and make a name for myself in this new industry, which I will.
I think it is really hard to find a job you love as much as you loved your sport and that is what hosting and presenting is to me. I absolutely love it. I’m passionate about it. I’m happy when I’m on stage or in front of a camera. I guess it is a dream coming true but I’m obviously not where I want to be so it’s still a long way to go.
“As a kid I always wanted to become a pilot…when I got older a lawyer, I even went to law school for a year. To be honest I don’t want to be anything else because I would do everything the same way over and over again. I don’t regret anything I’ve done so far.”
Flash questions: favorite city? Zurich Dish? Meat fondue Band & Kygo Movie? Meet the Parents Tv series? The Black List Dogs or cats? Dogs (I have one named Benji, rescued the guy in Colorado) Beach our mountain? I need both City or countryside? City
My advice for young skiers is train as much in the gym as on the snow and don’t be on your skis everyday, take days off to go to the gym or a trampoline! I know it’s not as much fun as skiing but it is extremely important if you want to avoid injuries!
KEEP UP WITH MIRJAM: