Medalist was called in to compete minutes before his silver-winning round
It's a cold day in Aspen as Noah Bowman,19, stares down the superpipe.
Currently in fourth place with his final run to go, the Calgary freestyle skier starts his run, and one "switch alley-oop, double flatspin 900" later, and he has won the silver medal.
His love for skiing started when Bowman was three and his parents introduced him to the sport. After switching to snowboarding briefly, Bowman was offered a spot on a ski team called the "Free Skiers" when he was in the Grade 7.
After being told about a provincial ski competition, Bowman decided to compete.
"I ended up doing it, and placing fourth. From there, I was kind of addicted to it," Bowman says.
Growing up in Calgary and having Canada Olympic Park, or COP, as a home hill was a huge advantage, he says.
"I would just go to COP after school.They've got an amazing half-pipe, amazing jumps and rails. That definitely helped me out a lot, because I was able to train so much."
Bowman's coach Trennon Paynter says, "He worked incredibly hard. He put in his time everywhere from the gym in the off-season, training on the trampolines, training on snow into the airbag, and then a lot of training in the half pipe."
Watching the X Games as a kid encouraged Bowman, who always wanted to compete. His plans were to go to the X Games for skateboarding until he started to ski.
Bowman was a second-alternate for the second year in a row, so he spent the three training days practicing on the half-pipe – not knowing if he would compete this year at all.
But Bowman wasn't fazed either way.
"All throughout the three practice days, I just had an amazing time. It was super fun. Then right before the elimination round, I got a call that I was in," he says.
That is when he took his silver-winning run.
"You can do the same grab, but it will look completely different if you cross your skis or keep them straight. It felt natural," he says recalling his silver-winning trick.
"I was in shock. I never really expected that to happen," said Bowman. "It was probably the best feeling I have ever felt. I was just filled with joy really."
Petar Lazic, a local skier who has known Bowman for several years, had inspiring words to say about his friend.
"Noah's showed us that with a big heart and a strong soul, he would move on to be one of the best in the world," Lazic said.
Bowman's next goals are to place at the Olympics
And to all the young skiers who look up to him, Bowman says, "Just have fun with it. That's the most important thing."
- By JESSICA PHILLIPS|