In 2017, during an interview at Red Bull Joyride, Slopestyle legend Brandon Semenuk said that Emil would be “the next unstoppable dude on the circuit.”
Two years later, at the same contest, the young Swede became the second-ever European to win the illustrious title of Red Bull Joyride Champion, beating out riders like Brett Rheeder (CAN), Dawid Godziek (POL) and Nicholi Rogatkin (USA), ending his comeback season on a serious high note.
“During the summer of that season, I managed to get back to where I wanted to be and finishing the season off better than it started just felt amazing.”
With the 2020 season about to kick off, it’s been a long road for the Swede. Diagnosed with an auto-immune disease and working through back injuries, 2018 and 2019 were formative years for the young phenom, both physically and mentally.
“Before I got diagnosed, I didn’t know what was going on. Why is this happening to me, over and over again? Why am I getting sick and why I am feeling miserable,” adding that “it’s really hard for me to stay healthy while training hard and it’s tough mentally to be comfortable with taking a step back, thinking about the future, rather than just riding flat out all the time."
The Swede is coming into the 2020 season with his head held high and he’s ready to show the world what he’s been working on.
“I’ve been riding lots in the off season and been enjoying having some time off from travelling and really being able to focus on staying healthy and getting ready for the season,” says Johansson.
"But without the never-ending support of my physicians Dr. Bachmann and Dr. Jacob, as well as my trainer Lenz Westner, I probably would not be back at where I am today. So thanks a lot to these guys!”
EMIL: The Next Chapter, which is now on Red Bull TV, follows Emil from when we saw him last: battling an auto-immune disease, rehab and his road back to the top of the Slopestyle world - and dives into everything that Emil’s been through, both the physical and the mental battle.