Olympic Valley, CA, Team Celebrates a Spectacular End of Season with Skiers Achieving Success in Freestyle, Freeride, & Freeski

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Women’s Slopestyle winners at Nationals in Copper-Mountain, CO this season. | Photo: Olympic Valley Free

[Olympic Valley, Calif.] April 27th, 2023 –  The Olympic Valley Freestyle Freeride Team (OVFree) had the most successful end to their ski season in the team’s history with impressive results in Freestyle, Freeride, and Freeski. The Olympic Valley-based team consists of some of the most talented young skiers in the region, who have trained tirelessly throughout the season to achieve their goals.

OVFree is proud to announce the outstanding results achieved by two of its young Freestyle (Moguls/Dual Moguls) athletes at the recent Snowbird FIS Open – the last mogul event of the 22/23 season. Ryan Tam (18, San Francisco) finished in 3rd place in moguls and 8th in dual moguls. Alicia Buckmaster (16, Tahoe City) secured 8th place in moguls and 13th in duals, a personal best in both categories for Buckmaster.

The team is also excited to report that six elite junior mogul skiers have qualified for 2023 Project Gold, a prestigious training camp hosted by the U.S. Ski Team. Project Gold is a highly selective program that identifies and trains the top mogul skiers in the country, preparing them for international competition. This year both Tam and Buckmaster along with Beau Rohlen (13, Glenshire), Artem Pidpalyi (13, San Francisco),  Aditya Gupta (15, San Carlos),  and Kaya Russell (16, Grass Valley) have been invited to participate in the camp, a testament to their dedication and outstanding athletic performances.

Austin Picket came in at third place at the junior freeride championship at Kickinghorse, BC. | Photo: Olympic Valley Free

In Freeride (Big Mountain) three athletes qualified for the IFSA North American Championships at Kicking Horse Resort in Alberta, Canada. Mark Hart (14, Truckee),  Austin Pickett (16, Reno), and Max Puhoff (17, Fremont) all earned the right to compete against the best athletes in North America. Pickett’s performance at the competition was particularly outstanding as he finished in 3rd place out of 54 athletes in the 15 -18-year-old division, securing an invitation to the IFSA Junior World Championships in Europe.

Freeski (Park) USASA Nationals were held at Copper Mountain, CO with 15 athletes qualifying – Bella Mina (10, San Francisco), Keva Kelly (12, Truckee), Abby Winterberger (12, Truckee), Ryan Li (9, Palo Alto), Evan Li (9, Palo Alto), Sean Sullivan (10, Olympic Valley),  Colin Beugelmans (11, Moraga), Nolan Chang (11, Burlingame), Micah Rodarte (11, Truckee), Teddy Niedtz (12, Truckee), Tucker Beck (14, Truckee), Max Loveless (14, Truckee), Mack Winterburger (14, Truckee), Ezra Sullivan (16, Olympic Valley), and Jude Nolan (17, Incline Village).

Notable results from the Copper Mountain include:

Bella Mina Slopestyle Women’s 9-10 2nd
Abby Winterberger Slopestyle Women’s 11-12 1st
Keva Kelly Slopestyle Women’s 11-12 3rd
Micah Rodarte Slopestyle Men’s 11-12 5th
Max Loveless Slopestyle Men’s 13-14 5th
Abby Winterberger Halfpipe Women’s 11-12 2nd
Keva Kelly Halfpipe Women’s 11-12 3rd
Micah Rodarte Halfpipe Men’s 11-12 4th
Mack Winterberger Halfpipe Men’s 13-14 1st
Keva Kelly Skier Cross Women’s 11-12 3rd
Ryan Li Skier Cross Men’s 8-9 2nd
Evan Li Skier Cross Men’s 8-9 5th

Kelly and Winterbergers’ strong performances across the three disciplines resulted in 2nd and 3rd place in the Overall Combined National Champion for Women’s 11-12 division.

When asked about the team’s accomplishments Program Director Jimeel Ferris said,

“Closing out the season with national podiums in every discipline is a very special feeling for all involved with OVFree – athletes, coaches, parents and friends. We have shown that with a goal and hard work dreams really do come true.”

Winners at the Snowbird, UT freeride competition. |  Photo: Olympic Valley Free

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