It's about the journey and the destination for Huwiler Gasser

It is often said, even over-used, that athletes competing in the Olympics (along with their families) had a long jou...

Posted: Feb 18, 2018 11:24 AM
Updated: Feb 18, 2018 11:24 AM

It is often said, even over-used, that athletes competing in the Olympics (along with their families) had a long journey to get to the Games. Most of the time, people mean it figuratively. But, in the case of Mischa Gasser’s father, Huwiler, it’s literal.

His son Mischa was competing in men’s aerials in PyeongChang, and Huwiler needed a way to get there. He didn’t choose the traditional option of a flight, or a train, or even a car.

For the past year, Huwiler, his wife Rita Ruttimann and his dad have been cycling from Switzerland to PyeongChang. That details riding through Europe and into Iran, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam, eventually arriving in South Korea.

The impressive feat doesn’t surprise Gasser.

"He was crazy all the time," said Gasser, having qualified for Sunday’s aerials final with a score of 121.72 points. "He would do stuff like that his entire life. He decided he wanted to do a bike tour, and he decided he was going to go to the Olympics.

Gasser’s father rode through 20 countries in 12 months. The journey required biking almost 10,565 miles (17,000km). They rode through mountains and even on the infamous Pamir Highway. They had to climb terrain approximately 15,275 feet above sea level. That’s equivalent to about 10 Empire State Buildings stacked on top of each other.

"My dad is crazy," Gasser said. "But he was (also) a sky diver at a younger age. It's coming from somewhere, I don’t know where. (Aerials is) just what I have to do."

It’s easy to make the connection between Gasser’s adventurous dad and Gasser, who competes in a sport known for its crazy jumps. Gasser sees the connection too.

"Definitely," he said. "Otherwise you won't go 15 meters in the air, doing three flips and four twists and landing into snow. That's just ridiculous."

Most people would be done after a trip like Huwiler’s, but then again, Huwiler isn’t most people. The 55-year-old is planning an equally hard trip home. It’ll take another year to complete.

"He's going to go to Japan," Gasser detailed. "Then he's flying back home because he needs a visa for China and Russia. He (will fly) back to Japan, cycle to Russia and China and back to Switzerland.

Gasser will need to channel his dad on Sunday. He made the final of the men’s aerials competition after a tough qualifying round that didn’t even see the reigning gold medalist advance.

"It's just insane, the boys are throwing down," he said. "It was tough the whole week, and if it's tough the whole week, it means pretty much every single time it's going to be a hard event.

"(In the final) it's going to be everybody throwing their best jumps. It's crazy."

While Gasser attempts to do jumps that are against human nature, perhaps he can find some inspiration from his dad who pushed his body to new heights. 

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 13731

Reported Deaths: 652
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds89824
Lauderdale68056
Madison65321
Scott59210
Neshoba51431
Jones49215
Forrest48635
DeSoto4746
Leake38810
Holmes36923
Rankin3566
Jackson29613
Copiah2844
Attala27314
Monroe24624
Lincoln24520
Leflore24126
Harrison2376
Newton2273
Lamar2205
Yazoo2192
Pearl River20527
Pike20011
Adams18815
Noxubee1656
Lowndes1647
Warren1547
Washington1535
Jasper1453
Bolivar14111
Oktibbeha13910
Covington1311
Clarke13116
Smith13110
Kemper12710
Chickasaw12712
Wayne1250
Lafayette1243
Carroll11310
Marion1108
Lee1085
Coahoma1063
Clay993
Winston981
Lawrence941
Hancock8811
Itawamba857
Simpson850
Wilkinson849
Yalobusha845
Montgomery801
Sunflower793
Grenada752
Union725
Marshall713
Jefferson Davis712
Tippah7011
Panola622
Calhoun604
Tate591
Claiborne582
Humphreys537
Amite521
Walthall490
Perry492
Tunica483
Jefferson400
Prentiss393
Choctaw322
Stone300
Webster281
Pontotoc263
Franklin252
Tishomingo250
Quitman240
Tallahatchie241
George201
Benton150
Alcorn141
Greene71
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 15650

Reported Deaths: 580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2033111
Jefferson163091
Montgomery127433
Marshall6509
Tuscaloosa55812
Lee51032
Franklin4676
Shelby44719
Tallapoosa40063
Butler35912
Chambers33724
Madison3024
Baldwin2749
Elmore2707
Walker2391
Etowah23811
DeKalb2263
Dallas2063
Coffee2061
Lowndes19310
Sumter1936
Morgan1761
Houston1724
Autauga1683
Calhoun1463
Pike1450
Choctaw1444
Colbert1422
Marengo1416
Russell1370
Lauderdale1352
Bullock1333
Hale1324
Randolph1247
Wilcox1187
Marion11410
Barbour1131
Clarke1092
St. Clair1041
Pickens934
Greene914
Talladega912
Chilton871
Dale850
Cullman780
Limestone770
Jackson712
Winston670
Covington671
Washington655
Henry642
Macon622
Crenshaw602
Bibb591
Blount491
Lawrence430
Escambia433
Perry350
Geneva350
Coosa341
Monroe332
Cherokee332
Conecuh281
Clay272
Lamar200
Cleburne131
Fayette110
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
Columbus
Overcast
71° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 71°
Oxford
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 70°
Starkville
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather