She competed at big mountain events and at January’s Dew Tour in Killington, Vt., but local freeskier, Emma Whitman had her eye on a bigger prize—making the podium at the 2012 X Games in Aspen, Colo.
“The X Games are pretty much the Olympics of extreme sports,” explains Whitman “For a long time snowboarding, snowmobiling and freeskiing weren’t part of the Olympics, so the X Games was started to fill that void.”
Whitman’s journey to the Dew Tour was helped along by plenty of support from the Sun Peaks community who raised $1,200 to send her to Vermont.
“I’m extremely thankful for the support I received from the community,” says Whitman.
She’s thankful too that, although she didn’t have the podium finish she had hoped for, she came off the course with all her body parts intact.
“The course was really challenging, and it claimed knees everywhere,” exclaimed Whitman. “More than anything I’m so relieved and proud that I was able to come out of this competition unscathed after watching many of my fellow competitors get eaten alive by the difficult course and the unpredictable winds.”
Whitman, had hoped a strong finish in Vermont would set her up for X Games success and perhaps clear the way to a bigger goal, the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi where slopestyle skiing will finally be a sanctioned event.
“They just recently allowed slopestyle in the 2014 Olympics; I don’t have my eyes set on that, but I’m certainly not going to not try for it,” she explains.
Whitman believes this is her year to make it or break it. While the path to the Olympics might not yet be clear, she does know, “The women on the Olympic teams have all competed and podiumed at the X Games.”
With her continued dedication to her sport and the ongoing support of her family, friends and the community of Sun Peaks, Whitman may still have a shot at joining that elite group of athletes.