Freeskier Alex Thisted to compete on international stage at junior world championships
The thought of making the U.S. team that will be competing at the 2022 Junior World Championships in Leysin, Switzerland, was just a dream to freeskier Alex Thisted only months ago. But it quickly became a reality for the 15-year-old after a breakthrough season.
Thisted will compete in Switzerland from March 6-13 in her main event, freeski slopestyle, as well as big air.
“My goal is definitely get a run that I am proud of and put it down,” Thisted said. “It would be amazing if I could make top five, but I think if I could put a run together that I am proud of then I would be super happy.”
Thisted began skiing when she was quite young, at the age of 3, like most talented skiers or snowboarders. Three years later Thisted joined her first ski development team, Summit County Freeride, and was coached by Teddy Goggin. Her family split their time between their hometown of Denver and Keystone Resort in order to start to develop the young athlete.
Thisted, along with Goggin, joined Team Summit in 2017 in order to continue pursuing excellence in the freestyle skiing arena. Her family eventually made the permanent move to Keystone when Thisted reached the eighth grade in order to help maximize the time she spent training. Since then Thisted has risen onto the junior-level freeski stage, in addition to becoming an integral member of the Team Summit park and pipe program.
She arguably is in the process of having her best season of her young career. Thisted’s top performance of the season so far occurred on Jan. 28-29 when she took home the the overall women’s freeski slopestyle title at the Rev Tour at Mammoth Mountain in California after she won gold and silver in slopestyle competitions.
Thisted beat out three U.S. Olympic Development Team athletes as well as two members from the Canadian National Team. Her Rev Tour performance ultimately helped her to be named to the U.S. team that will compete in both slopestyle and big air competitions in Switzerland.
“I feel like this entire year has been a surprising to me,” Thisted said. “Winning Rev Tour, that was a shock to me and people around me, so getting invited to junior worlds I was super, super surprised, but I am very excited.”
Thisted has big, long-term goals for herself in the sport. She wants to not only to someday make the X Games and Olympics, but to bring home a gold medal for the U.S. as well as Summit County. Thisted believes that being named to the 2022 Junior World Championship team is a step in that direction.
“I feel like I got recognition and it set me on the path to achieving that dream,” Thisted said.
Thisted’s talent and dedication goes beyond her individual talent on the ski slope. The young phenom is also the captain of Team Summit’s park and pipe program, whose members she cites as some of her biggest inspirations.
“I look up to all of my teammates and coaches,” Thisted said. “One of the things I love about Team Summit is that they are pushing me to not only be a better skier, but a better person.”
In terms of professional freeskiers, Thisted aspires to be like three-time Bejiing Winter Olympic medalist Eileen Gu, who competed for China.
“Eileen is super good on and off the hill,” Thisted said, “She is good in school and skiing.”
Like Gu, Thisted is great in the classroom. She manages the juggling act of in-person school at Summit High School and competitive skiing while excelling in doing so, boasting a 4.0 grade-point average.
Thisted strives to set an example for women skiers everywhere. She feels like women are underrepresented in freeskiing and she wants to prove that women can set the standard for the sport as a whole — not just be proficient at skiing.
“Freesking is a really male-dominated sport and I really strive to be someone who pushes the bar not just for girls, but in the sport in general,” Thisted said. “Girls seem to get underestimated. I even have people come up and assume I am a guy. I want to prove girls are just as capable.”
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