Sweden to New Zealand is a long way, though not that far if you were to follow a passion. Riding her mountain bike to be more precise.
Like many others, she started her Instagram channel and it’s hard to miss, that Emma does her own thing. That’s what polarises and what many love about her. Emma is what she is and deep down she is pursuing a dream. Her greatest wish would be to be able to make a living from riding and get the opportunity to concentrate 100% on what she enjoys.
In 2023, the puzzle formed in a positive way and she got her dream a little closer, but just keep reading to get to know Emma better.
Where were you born?
In Southern Sweden
Having any sisters or brothers?
Yes, I have two brothers back in Sweden.
Are they also into biking?
My younger brother rides a little bit too, but he lives in Sweden and there’s not much biking there.
Where do you live now?
Queenstown, New Zealand.
How does a perfect day look in the life of Emma?
It of course starts with a coffee (or two), a nice, chill morning and then I want to rip into the day! Maybe go ride some sick jumps, a few bike park laps with my friends, explore something new in a 4WD or on motos, have a picnic, drive home (or camp somewhere beautiful), get a nice meal cooked for me, order some new makeup, clothes or shoes online, cuddles and a movie on the couch (or in the camp bed) and then fall asleep after being knackered from doing fun stuff all day!
What made you move to New Zealand?
I lived in Australia for a bit and was kinda bored living there. My visa was running out, but I didn’t feel like going back to Sweden just yet, so I decided to go to NZ! I had ridden bikes a bit before moving here and heard that there is some good biking in Queenstown.After doing a winter season here, I bought a 2010 Giant Glory in like October 2017 and got HOOKED on bikes.
How does an average day look in the life of Emma Olofsson?
It always starts with a cup of coffee, ideally a homemade pumpkin spice latte, no one can talk to me before I’ve had my daily caffeine. While having my morning coffee, I check Instagram quickly and I normally do some online work in the mornings. I used to go to work in a bar in town but I just quit there last week as I finally got residency in NZ. I’ve been tied to that job for 5 years now and it feels so good being able to actually quit and work with something closer to my interests. I normally go for a ride most days, either bike park, the trails on Coronet Peak or I go to Wynyard Jump Park! I’m always super busy and have stuff to do, so after riding I’ll do some more life admin, phone work, make dinner and probably watch Simpsons and fall asleep.
Who do you ride with?
I really don’t like planning rides, so I usually show up to the bike park alone and ride with my friends I run into there.
Working on any specific trick?
I haven’t got into the training sessions yet, but this summer goals are to get no foot cans dialed and I want to learn tuck no handers, indian air and nacs!
What is the best place on earth you have ever been?
I think the Queenstown area is my favorite place in the world, especially Glenorchy. It’s a very quiet and beautiful place, I don’t think there’s even a supermarket there, but I really like how peaceful it is and hope to live there one day!
How is living in Queenstown compared to Sweden?
So soo soooo different! In many ways for the better, in some ways, for the worse. In Queenstown you pretty much have to share a house and it’s hard to find somewhere to live. I ideally don’t want to have housemates, as I like being home alone and having things my way and keeping everything clean and organized. However, this is the price you pay to be able to ride every single day, and have friends that want to do fun stuff all the time! In Sweden I was pretty much always bored, whereas in Queenstown, I’m never bored. I’m always busy with fun stuff here. Most employers here are also super chilled with time off, which is super important. I have almost always been able to take the time off work I wanted, so I could go on bike trips. Most employers give their staff winters off, so they can go to Europe or Canada and ride bikes.
Freedom like this would be very rare to happen back in Sweden.
Those who join your Instagram channel see that you rip and you hit the big jumps. What was the worst crash you had?
I have been quite lucky with most of my crashes and am usually fine. I broke my collarbone, practicing for this race about three years ago, by casing this gap, getting bucked and riding into a tree. I did also have a hugie on Dreamline 6 months ago where I went over the bars and no one even saw it. I hurt my back and cried the whole ride down to my car but I didn’t break anything, except my helmet.
Scrolling down to the first pictures in your Instagram account is show more fashion pictures, not biking? Tell us more about that time.
My whole life I’ve been really into makeup and fashion. I’ve always had a different style and love expressing myself through clothing/makeup. I went to makeup school in Stockholm in 2013. Then I started working at MAC Cosmetics, which was my dream job back then, in 2014. I worked there as a retail makeup artist for nearly two years and I really miss those days! Back then, this was my main hobby, expressing myself through makeup, fashion and art. This still lies close to my heart and I’m still creative with my outfits for riding. Normally I don´t leave the house without makeup. well almost always, sometimes I’m too tired or don’t want to and that’s ok too.
If you have the chance to be a fashion model or a bike professional, which life would you prefer?
I’d probably be richer as a fashion model, and I love money, but I think my life as a professional bike athlete would be more fun and I would be surrounded by the kind of people I can relate to. So I’ll have to choose the bike life!
What made you start with MTB?
My younger brother got me into mountain biking. He used to just sit in front of his computer day in and day out and dad would always give him shit for never doing anything with his life. My brother, Johan, found some videos of mountain biking online and we went to this place, not too far from where we lived, where you could ride. Johan, mom and I went there one day to check it out. I enjoyed it from day one because it made me forget all my problems and it was a good feeling to be active outdoors. I had a lot of anxiety and was very often bored when I was younger, so it felt really good to get outside and be really focused on something gnarly, just to escape life for a while!
Describe what biking means to you?
Biking has changed my life to say the least, where I live, my friends and where I travel is all because of bikes really. It’s definitely a lifestyle and sometimes it can consume you a bit too much, believe it or not but there is more to life than bikes, but bikes are the best part.
Having a sick sesh on my bike just makes me so happy and content and this is what life is about, isn’t it? To be happy and content. I can also be creative with bikes, through what I wear and the kind of content I create. This is important to me.
I’ve always had a creative side and I want to keep my creativity alive as long as I am alive.
Do you like racing or any sort of competition?
Only for the social side of it. For me biking isn’t a competition. It’s all about having fun. I don’t mind jump competitions, but for me it’s more about the social side of it and not about winning. Even though I always come first…haha!
Do you have any big dreams?
Yes, of course! I wanna be a princess and live in a castle on the top of a mountain with a private bike park surrounding my house! Haha, or at least own a nice property with some private big jumps. That would be nice. Riding full time, doing video- and photoshoots, creating new products and collaborations is another big dream! Because of this, I’m obviously super stoked on our collaboration on this brake pad set!
When you talk to potential sponsors, would you say it is harder for a female rider to get support from brands?
Well I can’t say 100% if it is or if it isn’t as I’m not a guy and I haven’t spoken to any male-friends about this but I don’t think it’s harder for women to get help in the bike industry. The female scene is getting more and more popular and we have a huge impact in the sport as well and I think companies see this too. It is hard to get financial help though but I believe it’s probably the same for men and women.
Can you make a full time wage from biking?
Not at the moment no, I get some financial help from some sponsors which is awesome and this helps me fund my travels to sunnier places when it’s winter in New Zealand but I spend most of my savings on these trips. Nowadays, I work from my laptop and phone, doing social media work for a couple of businesses and I think this is super fun and am happy to work with this along with my riding as I am very interested in marketing and social media.
“Hey Emma, let’s launch a Miles Racing – Emma Olofsson signature brake pad model”
What would be the most appealing thing of being a professional?
Being able to focus 100% on my biking and getting budgets to do cool trips and projects. I mean, at this point, I would say that I am a pro mountain biker as I have a lot of sponsors and do a lot of work for brands, it’s just not enough to not have another job as well, but I don’t really mind that.
Who is taking care of your bike repairs?
The best mechanics at Bikeaholic in Queenstown look after all my bikes. They help me out a lot and I really appreciate their help. When I was away on my northern hemisphere trip, I kinda neglected my bike and it did not feel good to ride it. I wish the guys at Bikeaholic could come with me on all my trips.
Do you have some girls you love riding with?
Absolutely! Riding with the girls is the sickest!! We have a big crew of girls riding in Queenstown, the BBC’s (Bad Bitch Club). I am hosting these Women’s Progression Sessions in Queenstown that all girls, any skill level are invited to come, so that our girl crew here can grow even bigger and we all have girls to ride with! It’s sick riding with the boys too, but you need a balance I reckon.
I also love to ride with my girlfriends in Canada and America. I had the best time at Dark Horse and Hang Time riding jumps with the girls there this past summer. Miss you all and can’t wait to see you all soon again!“
Wanna say something about your sponsors?
I can’t thank everyone that helps me out with products or financial aid enough, you’re one of the reasons why I can keep on doing what I am doing and I LOVE what I’m doing. I never thought that I would be a sponsored mountain bike athlete. I didn’t even know what a mountain bike was for most of my life! I also really appreciate being a part of each little family and having a say in each company, I love the good times we have and hope to do more projects and events with everyone in the future.
Thanks to YT Industries, Deity Components, Pit Viper, Loose Riders, Good Year Bike, Wide Open NZ and the crew at milesracing.com for your support <3 BIG LOVE.