Since the early days of skiing in her backyard, Jen Hudak has dreamed of winning an Olympic gold medal. Two X Games gold medals, three U.S. Championships and two World Championship podiums later, it looks like Hudak will have a chance when halfpipe skiing makes its Olympic debut in 2014.
In 2010, she established herself as the premier U.S. halfpipe skier on the women's side, sweeping the X Games superpipe in both Aspen, CO and Tignes, France while also topping the overall AFP series rankings – the freeskiing equivalent to snagging a World Cup globe.
After suffering a torn ACL in early 2012, Hudak has made it her priority to get back on top of her game with cross-training and hearty gym sessions at the Center of Excellence in Park City, UT. In 2013, Hudak strategically made her comeback at X Games in Aspen, where she advanced to the finals and eased her way back into competition for the remainder of the season.
It has been my dream to compete in the Olympics for halfpipe skiing for the last 12 years. I now finally have my chance. Despite the setbacks that I've had as an athlete and the injuries I have overcome, I am more comfortable and confident in my skin than ever before. Having the support of U.S. Freeskiing has allowed me to keep my dream alive as I push onward to Sochi 2014. With patience, focus, hard work and faith, I can make my dream a reality.
Jen first started skiing in her backyard in Vermont, but that didn't last very long. Her father recognized her love and talent for skiing early on and made sure to get her on the snow every weekend. Jen eventually enrolled in the Okemo Mountain Freestyle Team and things started to take off. Her first few years focused primarily on mogul skiing/competing, but when she got a new coach during her sophomore year of high school, all of that changed. Elana Chase came in and saw that there was great potential in the halfpipe. With her encouragement, the whole Okemo Mountain team began to compete in USSA halfpipe contests in conjunction with moguls events. A few years later, that became Hudak’s primary passion and focus.
OFF THE SNOW
When she’s not in the gym, Hudak takes classes at the University of Utah in psychology and business. Although she's not sure what she wants to do after her skiing career is over, she is sure that her dual major will provide nearly unlimited possibilities. This summer, she worked to create a foundation that helps young adults reach their dreams. The foundation provides clinics on goal setting, overcoming obstacles, and also offers two grants a year to deserving athletes trying to accomplish their dreams. Hudak also spends her time working with The V Foundation for cancer research. In 2009, her father was diagnosed with Leukemia and underwent a stem cell transplant in November 2010. Spreading the word about the foundation is close to her heart. She says, “The only way to stop the suffering is to find a cure.”
- University of Utah
- University of Utah
1st, HP, 2010
1st, HP, 2009
Gold, HP, Tignes, FRA, 2010
Gold, HP, Aspen, CO, 2010
Silver, HP, Aspen, CO, 2009
Bronze, HP, Aspen, CO, 2008
Bronze, HP, Aspen, CO, 2007
Seven straight X Games appearances (’05,’06,’07,’08,09,’10,’11)
FIS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Silver, HP, Park City, UT, 2011
Bronze, HP, Inawashiro, JPN, 2009
FIS WORLD CUP
Three career podiums
1st, HP, Dew Tour, Mount Snow, VT, 2009
2nd, HP, New Zealand Winter Games, Snowpark, NZL, 2011
2nd, HP, Dew Tour, Snowbasin, UT, 2010
3rd, HP, Dew Tour, Breckenridge, CO, 2008