U.S. Rookie Team Athletes Thrive at Waterville Valley Rev Tour
U.S. Ski & Snowboard Rookie Team athletes excelled at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, for the second of three NorAm sanctioned Rev Tour ELITE events of the season. The event featured two slopestyle competitions for both snowboard and freeski, providing athletes with plenty of repetitions and opportunities to reach the podium and progress.
In the first snowboarding competition, U.S. Rookie Team member Jake Canter (Silverthorne, Colo.) took the victory. After struggling at previous Rev Tour competitions, Canter was ecstatic with his performance.
“It feels insane to win a Rev Tour Competition,” said Canter. “I have never made finals ever before at a Rev Tour and today I somehow ended up winning. I just want to keep having fun and hopefully go to the Olympics one day, and of course, keep riding pow! “
Addison Gardner (Riegelsville, Penn.) who took the women’s victory. Not only did she win the event, but she improved on last year’s results. “After getting a second place last year, it feels amazing to bump it up this year with the win,” said Gardner. “Not to mention, just riding with all my friends is a great feeling.”
In the second snowboard competition, it was U.S. Rookie Team member Luke Winkelmann claiming the top spot on the podium. Winkelmann struggled in the first competition, so he used his second chance to find redemption.
“It feels great to take the win after yesterday not going my way,” said Winkelmann. “My goals for snowboarding are to make a full part for a movie, obviously the Olympics would be a dream, and I also would love to compete in X Games.”
For the women, Courtney Rummel (West Bend, Wisc.) added another win to the collection for the U.S. Rookie Snowboard Team. Rummel has her sights set on a bright future and her win at the Rev Tour is certainly a step in the right direction.
“It feels amazing and it’s so nice to win first place,” said Rummel. “I want to make to make a name for myself within the sport and also go to the Olympics one day.”
On the freeski side, Deven Fagan (Frisco, Colo.) took the top spot in the first of two competitions. Fagan’s comments following his victory mimicked that of the snowboarders staying on the theme of progression.
“It feels awesome to win today, I am super stoked,” he said. “My ultimate goals in freeskiing are to win the X Games and the Olympics.”
U.S. Rookie Team member Marin Hamill (Park City, Utah) took the win in the women’s event. Hamill struggled throughout practice but managed to put it all together when it mattered.
“It feels pretty good to win today, especially because practice didn’t go all that well for me,” said Hamill. My goals are to keep having fun and get as good as I can be in the sport.
In the final freeski competition of the week, Hunter Henderson (Madbury, N.H) earned the victory. “It’s amazing,” Henderson said. “Words can’t describe how happy I am. It’s a great competition and I am happy to be a part of it.”
Canadian Skye Clark who took the final freeski event for the women. However, third-place finisher and U.S. Rookie Team member Rell Harwood (Park City, Utah) reached the podium with a third-place finish.
“It feels really good to be on the podium today,” said Harwood. “I had a lot of fun on the snow at Waterville and plan on continuing to compete and having fun this season.”
One commons theme throughout the winning Rev Tour athletes comments is the fact that everyone simply wants to continue having fun while skiing and riding for the love it. The passion amongst the Rev Tour athletes is undeniable. Competition can be stressful, but these athletes clearly have the right mindset. With the improved athlete pipeline throughout the Rev Tour Series, athletes have a chance to compete at the correct level of competition against their peers, continue to improve and climb the competition ladder in an enjoyable atmosphere. The future of snowboarding and freeskiing seems bright with all winning athletes having goals to reach the Olympics, X Games and continuing to progress.
The third and final Rev Tour Elite event will be held at Mammoth Mountain, California, Mar. 12-17 with snowboard and freeski slopestyle, halfpipe and big air competitions. In addition, there are also two FIS sanctioned Rev Tour events just around the corner as well. The first at Copper Mountain Feb. 10-14 featuring both halfpipe and slopestyle competitions. The second event will be hosted in Seven Springs, Penn. for another slopestyle and halfpipe competition Feb. 25 - March 1.