Breck Athletes heading to Sochi for the 2014 Olympics
The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia is almost upon us, and several members of the Breck Epic Pro Team are preparing to compete as part of the first-ever Olympic Slopestyle and Freeski teams. Bobby Brown, Keri Herman, James Woods, Anna Segal and Rebecca Torr are each set to represent their home country during the Winter Games. Freeskiing will make its Olympic debut in Sochi with both half pipe and slopestyle competitions, while slopestyle snowboarding will join the existing half pipe boarding event.
Bobby, 22, and Keri, 31, both wrapped up their Olympic bids with stellar performances at the weekend’s final Grand Prix event in Park City, Utah. A Colorado native, Bobby grew up skiing Breck and has honed his skills in Breck’s Terrain Parks, with an eye on the debut for Olympic Fresskiing this year. A Minnesota native, Keri moved to Breck to immerse herself in ski culture and has called the mountain town home for years, spending her time perfecting her skiing and topping podiums around the World. Both Bobby and Keri will compete for Team USA in the freeski slopestyle event, a new addition to the Olympic roster. Athletes will compete on a complex course comprised of rail and box features, as well as jumps.
Known for his style and skill, James “Woodsy” Woods, 21, will represent Great Britain in Russia. Having begun his ski career on a dry slope (simulated ski surface) in the UK, the freeskier superstar has made his winter home in Breckenridge for years. Also a slopestyle specialist, Woodsy will be among the first-ever freeski athletes to take to the snow in the sport’s Olympic debut. Rounding out Breck’s freeski roster is Australia native Anna Segal, 30. Spitting her time between the two hemispheres for the last several years, Anna’s star has continued to rise on the international competition circuit, and she will also compete for her home country in the freeski slopestyle competition in Sochi.
The lone snowboarder making her way from Breck to Sochi, Rebecca “Possum” Torr, 23, will also represent the Southern Hemisphere and her home country of New Zealand in Sochi. Having only begun snowboarding at age 15, Possum has spent the last several season training in Breck, and will compete in the first-ever women’s snowboard slopestyle event.
The Road to Sochi has gone through Breck twice this season with two Olympic qualifying events, the Dew Tour Mountain Championships and the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix, being hosted at the mountain resort in the last 2 months. Breck athletes have taken advantage of any time off from the competition circuit to hone their skills in Breck’s award-winning terrain parks. Visitors to Breck can enjoy time skiing and riding on the same course, followed by cheering on these hometown athletes at a variety of locations around town throughout the Games. Men’s and women’s freeski slopestyle events will take place Feb. 10-13 in Sochi; with the women’s slopestyle snowboarding events hosted Feb.6-9. For more information on Breck Parks and the Breck Epic Team, please visit Breckenridge.com.
– Laura Parquette