The 2018 – 2019 U.S. Freestyle Ski Team (Moguls and Aerials) was
announced and almost twenty percent (six members) of the team learned how to ski in the Bristol Freestyle Program. Although truly an impressive statistic the goal of the program is not to create elite level athletes, but rather help young skiers find what they love about skiing and have a great time doing it.
In the Mogulrunners Program skiers from age 7 to 17 train together on the same courses and features throughout the season. They encourage each other to try new things, celebrate each other’s achievements, and generally have a great time skiing and training as a group out on the hill.
The coaches make sure that the athletes are always challenged and use the entire mountain. Mogul courses and jump features are built by hand and maintained to ensure that they are safe for training and super fun as well. Training times are between 9:30 am and 2:30 pm on the weekends and run from December through March.
Competing in sanctioned USSA events is encouraged in the program but certainly not required. Bristol hosts one of the largest freestyle mogul contests each season in early January. Younger athletes compete in events during the season, within a two hour drive of Bristol. Many athletes however choose to stay at Bristol and not travel to events, which is perfectly fine as there are always coaches who stay behind for kids to train at home.
The Bristol Freestyle Program is primarily designed to help kids who love to ski love it even more and become the best skier that they can be. Each athlete will have different personal goals and the coaching staff embraces the various development paths to help each athlete become the skier they ultimately wish to be.
Mary Walczyk, mother of U.S. Ski Team Freestyle Moguls athlete Dylan Walczyk, had this to say regarding her son’s experience in the Bristol Mountain Freestyle Program, “Our son Dylan tried out moguls when he was eight-years-old because he thought skiing the bumps and jumping looked fun. The Bristol Freestyle Program taught him the fundamentals needed to ascend through the sport. He has now been on the U.S. Ski Team for seven years with several World Cup podiums and World Championship starts. The program gave Dylan a great start in the sport he loves.”
Participating on the Bristol Freestyle Team won’t guarantee you a spot on the U.S. Ski Team but it will help you become a great “all around skier”, which will help you enjoy the sport for as long as you continue to ski!