First turn towards the future: Summit’s Kaitlyn Adams nominated to US snowboard rookie team

Summit's Kaitlyn Adams, center, stands atop the awards podium after being named the Nor-Am Cup overall champion at the end of her 2021-22 competition season. Adams was recently nominated to the U.S. slopestyle and big air rookie team opening the door for more success on the competition circuit.
Will Rivera/Courtesy photo

Coming off a successful snowboard season, where she was named the Nor-Am Cup overall champion, Summit County’s Kaitlyn Adams has earned another accolade.

At just 17-years-old, Adams, who lives in Silverthorne, continues to move up in the womens snowboarding ranks. She was recently nominated to the U.S. Snowboard slopestyle and big air rookie team for the upcoming season by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. 

“It feels good. I am really excited,” Adams said. “I was expecting it because I was told earlier in the season, but it definitely was a surprise.” 

The nomination comes in large part becasue of Adam’s performances over this past season. The young rider earned nine podium finishes at Nor-Am Cup competitions and traveled to Leysin, Switzerland for the Junior World Cup slopestyle and big air competitions.

At the Junior World Cup, Adams performed well against some of the best junior talent in the world, placing ninth in slopestyle and 11th in big air. By the end of the season, Adams was ranked third among American female riders on the World Snowboard points list. Only Olympic medalists Jamie Anderson and Julia Marino topped Adams in the rankings.

“I was super nervous the whole season because there was a lot of pressure,” Adams said. “I had to do well in order to get to other competitions and get the World Cup spot so there was a lot of pressure, but I was excited.”

Adams said a trust in her ability to compete and perform tricks is what ultimately led her to be crowned the Nor-Am World Cup champion at the end of the season and got her nominated to the national snowboard rookie team. 

The nomination to the rookie team carries some weight in the world of snow sports. Adams will be joining the ranks of 19 other American rookie riders and 29 pro-level snowboarders, including the likes of Summit’s Red Gerard and Chris Corning. 

“The U.S. Snowboard Rookie Team nomination is a very prominent moment in Kaitlyn’s snowboard career,” Adam’s coach and head coach of Worldwide Snowboarding Will Rivera said. “It’s the first step to a potential U.S. pro team invite.”

Summit’s Kaitlyn Adams poses for a photo during a snowboard competition this past winter season. Adams feels like there was a lot of pressure this past season to perform. However, Adams overcame the pressure and as a result was nominated to the 2022-23 U.S. snowboard rookie team.
Will Rivera/Courtesy photo

Adams’ nomination holds a strikingly similar resemblance to the story of Gerard. Like Gerard, Adams used to live in Ohio before moving to the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains and the Town of Silverthorne, in order to pursue the sport of snowboarding. 

Gerard spent his time working on his craft, many times on his own setup of rails in his backyard, in order to make the 2018 Olympic team and four years later the 2022 Olympic team.

Adams is hoping to follow in Gerard’s footsteps and be another Silverthorne local who vies for a medal at a Winter Olympic Games. 

“It feels good,” Adams said of being on a similar career path as Gerard. “It feels like there is pressure though. There are a lot of eyes on me, and competition — it’s very competitive with all the girls. I feel like the girls are more competitive than the guys.”

Next season Adams will work with the U.S. snowboard team coaches in cooperation with Rivera at Worldwide Snowboarding. 

Heading into next season, Adams has hopes of continuing to compete well at the more competitive World Cup competitions where she will face off with professional-level riders instead of primarily junior talent. 

“I think it will push me a lot,” Adams said of competing against pro-level riders next season. “Hopefully, I will be better with my nerves this time around after competing at my first World Cup competition a few years ago.”

Adams also hopes to maintain her ranking over the next three-and-a-half years in order to be one of the four women who is named to the U.S. snowboard slopestyle and big air team for the Milano Cortina 2026 Winter Olympic Games. 

“Those are my goals, to earn that spot and do well,” Adams said. “Right now I am sitting third, so I just have to hold that spot the next three years.”

Silverthorne resident Kaitlyn Adams performs a rail slide during a day of training. The former Ohio resident is on a similar path as two-time Olympian Red Gerard, who also moved from Ohio to pursue a snowboarding career.
Will Rivera/Courtesy photo

From June 11-14 Adams will attend the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s orientation camp at the Center of Excellence training facility in Park City, Utah.

At the camp, Adams will officially join the snowboard rookie team and begin her journey towards accomplishing her goals over the next few seasons. 

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