Three Telluride Olympic Hopefuls Head To South Korea
In a 2010 post for Telluride Inside… and Out, Deb Dion, now editor-in-chief of Telluride Magazine, interviewed homeboy Gus Kenworthy, who had come back from a major injury to dominate the freeskiing circuit.
In response to her question about how growing up and skiing in Telluride prepared him for becoming a professional skier, Gus said this:
“Growing up in Telluride was definitely a huge advantage for me as a skier, and for my career. Having a strong background in all different aspects of the sport is a huge help. Nowadays there are a lot of kids who decide that they want to be skiers and they go straight to the terrain parks and spend all of their time there. Although I am definitely a park rat myself, I started out racing and competing in moguls. It’s important to get the fundamentals down first…”
Asked his advice to other young skiers who might want to go pro, Gus answered:
“As far as advice for up-and-coming skiers with dreams of a career as a professional: I would just say to follow your dreams. Don’t worry about the fame and sponsors and get caught up with all of that. Just do what you do, and stay true to yourself. When you are ready, everything will fall into place. I don’t know if I have a personal motto that I try and live by. I just try and be a good, honest person and have fun with whatever I’m doing. It has served me well so far…”
Very well indeed.
Gus, a Telluride High School graduate, now age 26, went on won silver in Slopestyle in Sochi in 2014, joining U.S. teammates Joss Christensen (gold) and Nick Goepper (bronze) on the podium for an American sweep. Since then, he has consistently been in the Top 10 of the World Cup Standings for both Slopestyle and Halfpipe events. At the 2017 World Championships. Gus took silver in Slopestyle.
Now Gus Kenworthy, Telluride’s first Olympian, has qualified to return to the 2018, Pyeongchang, South Korea, Olympics in Slopestyle. The event takes place February 9 – February 25.
For more about Gus Kenworthy, go here.
This time, however, Gus is not going it alone. He is joined by two other talented Telluride hopefuls, Telluride Mountain School alums, Keaton McCargo, age 22, class of 2013, and Hagen Kearney, age 26, class of 2010.
Keaton, who will ski with the Freestyle team in the Moguls event, has a number of Top 10 World Cup finishes under her belt, including a podium finish in Ruka, Finland, plus a Moguls national title. In 2017, Keaton finished 6th in the world in her category.
For more on Keaton McCargo, go here.
Hagen, age 26, qualified to compete in Snowboardcross. He finished 7th in the World Championships in 2017 and placed 5th in last year’s World Cup standings.
For more on Hagen Kearney, go here.
“Our kids are very luck to have grown up in a community like Telluride, shredding our mountain. They learned to crush it, not just on the mountain, but in all aspects of their lives through programs like the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club, the Telluride Academy, and the Telluride Mountain School. Speaking for my own child, Keaton is the product of a very long list of strong mentors in her life with whom she rubbed elbows throughout her childhood in Telluride. Kudos to the Mountain School for helping Keaton create an individualized plan to get through high school while missing 65 days her senior year. And the Ski Club? Never enough said. It really does takes a village,” said Jenny Page, publisher Telluride Magazine – and Keaton’s proud mom.“The Telluride work hard/play hard lifestyle has paid off big time for these three young people. I am excited for them. And excited for the Telluride community writ large.”
“…Please help us shout from the rooftops in support of these amazing athletes! As part of the Telluride Mountain School community, we feel privileged to have taken part not only in their education, but also in support of their incredible journey to the Olympic games,” said the school’s faculty and staff of Keaton and Hagen. “We are also proud to support Gus Kenworthy, who attended TMS from 2002-2003 and graduated from the Telluride High School.”
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