(CNN)Balancing a career in professional sport with being a social media sensation is a tightrope to walk.
Thankfully for Andri Ragettli, his career as a professional freestyle snowboarder, and the globetrotting lifestyle which accompanies that, has helped feed his social media presence.There’s been acrobatic bridge-diving in Zurich, “the floor is lava” style workouts, as well as dabbling in parkour, biking and splash diving — not forgetiing “nipple deep,” which is when snowboarders ride on deep, powder-like snow.Is it a bird or a plane? No it’s Andri Ragettli …Andri Ragettli of Switzerland competes in the Men’s Freeski Big Air of 2019 Air+Style Beijing FIS Snowboard World Cup at Shougang Park on December 13, 2019 in Beijing, China.Though it didn’t start out as a just a thrill-seeking quest for millions of views, Ragettli tells CNN Sport. View this post on Instagram
“They [social media videos] just happened,” he says. “I didn’t plan them in the beginning. But now as I’m growing on social media, I am more planning my videos. Read More”For example, the video where I jumped like from eight meters into the snow. That was the day after a competition in the United States. Then we had a rest day before we flew to Canada for the next world cup. And it snowed overnight, like, yeah, like almost one meter and in the end, this video happened.” The fun of producing videos hasn’t distracted Ragettli from his professional goals though.The Swiss has already won seven world cup titles and four Crystal Globe trophies.This year he also won the first X-Games gold medal of his career, fulfilling a childhood dream in the process.”All of my idols won the X Games and I had some troubles with the X Games,” he says. “I think it was my seventh appearance and I had like three medals, but only bronze. I just wanted to win the gold.”Andri Ragettli of Switzerland competes during the Freestyle Skiing Men’s Ski Slopestyle Final on day nine of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 18, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.Ragettli speaks like an embattled veteran of his sport, who has been striving for his entire career to reach a single goal.We forget that he has only just turned 22 years of age.At X-Games Norway earlier this year, he finally achieved that 13-year old dream, winning his first X-Games gold medal in the men’s Slopestyle.Ragettli is also the first person ever to perform a quad cork 1800 — four flips in mid-air — on skis.”I think I have like a long way for my career,” he says. “I think I will still keep skiing, I hope, until I’m 30 years old.”