FEATURED ATHLETE: AVA KEENAN
Ask anyone who’s been there when they roll into town: The National Brotherhood of Skiers’ annual summit is a legendary party. In 2022, WME joins the NBS as it takes over Snowmass and gathers its national network of local ski clubs devoted to celebrating the Black snowsports experience. We’ll meet the leaders who have championed this cause for years in places like Baltimore and Detroit. And we’ll get to know the emerging talent that the NBS supports to further its goal of placing Black skiers and snowboarders on the US Team—riders like Brian Rice, Bryce Welch, and Ava Keenan. Catch them now, before you catch them in Milan Cortina in 2026.
Why Mogul Skiing?
Because they are the best skiers, duh! I’ve been a competitive mogul skiing since I was 8 years old. It’s amazing because it never gets boring. I love it because of the adrenaline it creates when you’re going as fast as you can down a mogul course and then have to hit a jump. There is nothing like it. Moguls force a skier to have range and it pushes me to find my range. How fast can I go down a course? How direct down the fall line can I be? How big can I go on the airs? What tricks can I do on the airs? Mogul skiing is the only ski discipline that incorporates all of the elements of skiing; turning, air, speed, technique, etc. I love it because it’s complex and you can NEVER be perfect at it. It keeps pulling me to get better, to improve.
I look up to a couple of people. The first person is my dad. He has a really good work ethic and teaches that work ethic to my sisters and me. He’s always telling us one more run. One more rep. One more training day. He taught me about the power of a growth mindset and how focusing on getting better at a skill is far more important than focusing on a goal like winning or awards. My dad really helps my sisters and I be better at everything we do.
I also look up to Liz Lemmely who has accomplished so much at only 16. She’s from the same program I am, Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy. She’s only 16 and in her first World Cup Season, she’s reached the super finals 3-times. I also look up to the best ever Mikael Kingsbury. He’s the goat and has been super supportive of me. And of course, I want to give a shout out to my other Ski Club Vail and VSSA bumpers Kia Owen and Tess Johnson.
- Rookie of the Year for Rocky Mountain Freestyle 2022
- First ever Black Skier to Win a sanctioned RMF (Rocky Mountain Freestyle Competition)
- Number one ranked skier in age group
- Three Podiums; Youngest skier to podium and compete in the 2022 Rocky Mountain Freestyle Comp Division
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