Breck local Jaxin Hoerter named to U.S. Freeski rookie team for 2015-16 season
Earlier this month, the U.S. Freeskiing team announced its 2015-2016 ski team, consisting of 42 halfpipe and slopestyle athletes. There are currently 24 skiers on the pro team, both men and women, and 18 skiers on the rookie team. Talent runs deep on the American squad, proven by the team’s dominating medal count at the 2015 Sochi Winter Olympics.
Among the brand-new athletes on this year’s team is 15-year-old Jaxin Hoerter from Breckenridge. As the youngest currently on the team, he joins an eight-member rookie halfpipe team that mostly consists of 16, 17 and 18 year olds. He and his parents, Dusty and Amy, are looking forward to the path he is on after a stellar breakthrough season in 2014-2015.
Last season, Hoerter competed in both the United States of America Snowboard Association series and United States Ski and Snowboard Association Revolution Tour events. He won the USSA Junior National halfpipe title in March and was then selected as part of the U.S. team for the Junior World Championships, which took place in April in Valmalenco, Italy.
While in Italy, he got his first taste of competition on an international level and solidified his dream of taking skiing to the next big stage. Thanks to his performance at the Junior World Championships, he’s has been working with coaches and trainers from the U.S. Ski Team over the past few months to prepare for the 2015-2016 stateside competition season.
And the season is nearly here. He recently returned from New Zealand, where he traveled with other athletes from the freeski team to represent the U.S. at the first World Cup event of the season at the New Zealand Winter Games. While the results weren’t where the coaches wanted them to be, the U.S. rookie team looked comfortable on the snow.
Back at home, warm weather and a lack of snowfall across the West Coast has impacted the team’s training schedule. He and teammates spent some of their summer training at Mt. Hood in Oregon and water ramping at the Utah Olympic Park site in Utah. The rookie team now heads to Switzerland with all young athletes on the roster for more training and team building.
Hoerter is new to the freeski team, but he’s hardly new to the world of high-level freeskiing. Since a child, he’s spent as many days as possible on the snow, earning national sponsors like Volkl/Marker and Monster energy and local sponsors like Alpine Sports.
“It is a very rewarding and satisfying process,” he said about earning a spot on the team. “This is the first step of many to fulfill a dream of mine: competing on a world-class stage for both myself and my country.”
At 15 years old, he still has several years to continue honing his skills before the next Olympic Games in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. For many young athletes in the increasingly competitive and global freeski world, joining a national team is the first step to making the Olympics. Being named to the U.S. team puts athletes like him on the radar for other athletes and coaches. He now will be competing on a different level for the first time this season, with the high expectations of any U.S. freeskiing athlete.
“The goal is to ski in the Olympics and continue with the wave of great American freeski skiers that we have here in the U.S.,” he said. “I want to be part of a very rich tradition that places athletes on podiums and gives future generations something to strive for.”
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