The Big Sky Freeride Ski team recently traveled to the U.S. Olympic teams’ training venue ramp camp where they could practice their tricks. PHOTO COURTESY MICAH ROBIN

Free-ride flipping

Trip to Olympics Venue for Big Sky Team

There may be no snow in Big Sky but that didn't stop the Freeride Ski team from practicing their tricks in a whole new way and place. The team made the journey to Salt Lake City, Utah last week in order to go to the U.S. Olympic Team’s training venue which is located there. Once they arrived they were able to ski down the ramps and practice their tricks into a pool. They were also able to use trampolines there in order to master their skills on land first.

“It’s called ramp camp and we take all the athletes who sign up - we had about 15 athletes total - from the Freeride team,” explains Micah Robin, one of the Freeride coaches who attended the trip.

The purpose of this three-day camp was to allow these athletes to practice new skills in a safer and more accessible environment. “Everyone was working on stuff that they want to try out on snow next year,” said Robin. “It helps them progress, have fun, and is a great way to get excited for the winter and get everyone together.”

Brayden Maybee, a team member, agrees about the value of the experience, “It is a chance to practice and learn new skills with minimal risks.”

All the athletes said they were striving to make the most out of the unique experience. “My goals while I was there were to practice tricks I haven't done before on skis so that in the following season I can be more confident trying them,” said Maybee. Matthew Jennings, another team member, had more modest aspirations: “My goals going into the camp were obviously just to get comfortable jumping into water on skis, as well as getting consistent with backflips and other tricks.”

Everyone agreed that it was truly special to be able to train in a place like the venue, “It brought our whole team closer together, the entire trip was a bonding experience” says Maybee.

A special inspiration in the Salt Lake City venue, said Jennings. “It was really cool to be able to not only use the venue but see all the Olympic athletes training there.”

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