One to Watch -- Willie Borm
Slopestyle skier Willie Borm hasn't quite had his breakout season yet. But he's come close, with one X Games appearance, invites to Dew Tour and top 15 finishes at World Cup contests. But this winter? Now 17 and stronger than ever, Borm will be one to watch.
Borm first learned to ski at age three at a 300-vertical-foot ski hill in Bloomington, Minnesota, called Hyland Hills. It's not the most obvious place for a budding freeskier to get his start, but Borm says it helped him get where he is today.
"Riding in Minnesota helps a lot with rails because of the tow ropes," Borm says. "You can stay focused and hit a rail so many times in one hour."
X Games Debut
Borm made his X Games debut in Tignes, France, in 2013, where he placed 12th in slopestyle.
At age 13, Borm won Teton Gravity Research's 2010 Grom Contest, where kids 17 and under competed for a chance to be in TGR's annual ski film.
To train for the upcoming contest season, Borm says, "I ski as much as I can and trampoline. I just think of the tricks I want, I try to visualize my run."
At home in Minnesota, Borm spends a lot of time practicing tricks on his backyard trampoline. "I always wanted an Olympic trampoline in my yard and I finally decided to get one," he says.
Although he spends much of his time on the road each winter, he says he enjoys coming home to Minnesota when the season is over. "It's actually pretty cool coming back to Minnesota," Borm says. "There is no pressure skiing in Minnesota. It' just riding with friends. I can goof off a little bit while still training."
Borm didn't make the U.S. team for slopestyle's Olympic debut, but, he says, "It was so exciting to see slopestyle skiing debut at the Winter Olympics in Russia. I am looking forward to another exciting and intense competition season next year, and I expect that everyone will be throwing down and taking our sport to the next level again."