Just three days ago, Keri Herman received a very exciting phone call. It was from U.S. Freeskiing, telling her that she had won the first World Cup title and crystal globe for slopestyle skiing.
“It was awesome,” Herman said of winning the title. “It's pretty exciting; it's the first time our sport's been part of this.”
Herman, who has lived in Breckenridge for the past 10 years, won all 200 of the points that awarded her the title in her first two competitions of the season.
The first of these was the End of the World Challenge, taking place in Ushuaia, Argentina. Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world, at the very southern tip of South America and close to Antarctica.
“Argentina was crazy, because they call it the ‘end of the world' down there,” Herman said. “It was really cool going down and trying to speak Spanish and exploring a new place. The contest was pretty fun.”
It was also challenging, she said. “It was tricky, because they don't have much experience making the course,” this being the first time the event has been held at Ushuaia. “The speed was really tricky, it was hard clearing the jump, but it was still fun,” she said.
In Argentina, Herman took first place, putting her in the lead with FIS World Cup points. James Woods, from England, took first on the men's side. Though he skis for England, Woods often spends part of his season in Breckenridge, where he and Herman, good friends, ski together and hang out.
Herman's second event was practically her home turf, at the Grand Prix at Copper Mountain Resort in January. It was her second World Cup win in a row and enough to keep her in the lead for the rest of the season.
“Copper was a huge, a huge event. I believe there were almost 50 girls, 48 or something, which is crazy, from all over the world,” she said. “It was for sure the craziest contest I've ever done, with the most competition, so winning that, I couldn't believe it, I was so excited. It was such an amazing feeling.”
Her friend, Woods, also won in the men's division and now holds the men's World Cup title as well.
After her two wins, Herman said she took some time off “and just stayed in Breck and played. That's the goal in skiing for me — to do well enough to do whatever I want during the rest of the season.”
Herman did attend some other competitions, including the Nine Queens event in Austria, where she unfortunately injured herself on the first day, coming away with a broken hand and a concussion. After that came the Euro X-Games in France, which she attended but could not compete due to her injuries.
Despite the setback, Herman is upbeat about her prospects. “It's all good. It'll heal,” she said.
The worst part is that the concussion is keeping her away from skiing even for fun.
“It's impossible,” she said, trying to stay away from the sport she loves so much.
Fortunately, Herman has a lot to look forward to, mostly the 2014 Winter Olympics, which will feature slopestyle skiing for the first time.
“It's been a goal, what I'm working for, so this was a good first move,” Herman said.
Although there may be much more in the future, for now Herman's friends and family are proud of her current accomplishments.
“I'm so happy for her,” said her mother, Diana Herman. “It's exciting. She made history.”
It\'s pretty exciting; it\'s the first time our sport\'s been part of this