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INTERVIEW WITH KATE GRAY

Posted by MMCF Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation on
INTERVIEW WITH KATE GRAY

US Freeski Rookie Halfpipe Team Member while Juggling High School

In between competitions, camps and school, Kate set aside some time to talk with us about her appointment to the US Freeski Rookie Halfpipe Team all while juggling High School academia and sports.  


How long have you been doing this and what led you to this sport specifically?

Kate started park skiing at the age of nine, in Mammoth, first on skis at age two.  When she got her first couple of inches, “it was scary.”  Having three older brothers, she mainly skied with boys.  “Riding with the guys made me want to do more, to be better than them.”  This inspiration definitely paid off as she is now on the US Team Freeski Rookie Halfpipe.


How was your transition to the US Team and how many athletes are on the Team?

“Very chill.”  With her former MMSST coach, Ryan Carey, also joining the US Team coaching staff, it was a very easy transition.  On the pro team there are about 20 - 25 athletes.  Kate is on the rookie team which has about 10 - 15 athletes.  


What is a typical day on and off the road and who preps your skis?

Kate spends one hour getting warmed up and used to the halfpipe.  Then two hours throwing down tricks and “learning new things,” lapping at her own pace.  An additional hour is spent cruising and there is always stretching and recovery after a hard day skiing.  Kate preps her skis before she leaves for travel.  There is a pro halfpipe tech available that if something happens to her skis, she can “hit him up about how to fix it.”


What is your ritual before a competitive run?

Kate has a playlist that she loves listening to that gets her “in the zone.”  She described the playlist as her way of helping her to “Visualize me stompin' it.” 


 

You are still a student at Mammoth High School.  How do you balance everything?

Kate makes it a priority to get ahead in school before she starts traveling and competing.  That makes school less of a worry.  When in Mammoth, she goes into school once a week to check in with her teachers.  She also competes on the Softball team at Mammoth High School.  Participating in school sports and activities allows her to enjoy a normal, well-rounded high school experience . . .she tries to “get it all in.”


How does being in the MMCF sponsored FLEX program help?

The FLEX program “works great for skiers.”  Kate is online a lot which makes it easier for her to focus on her classes and “knock it out”,  the school work that is!  MMCF and MHS are committed to making a program that allows Snowsport athletes to have the opportunity to excel in their sport, have a stellar education and get to be a part of the High School community.


Do you have a preferred food while traveling?

Ritz crackers from the US.


What makes skiing so fun?

When asked what makes skiing so much fun, Kate enjoys learning new tricks.  The “adrenaline is rush!”  Coming from a family with lots of older brothers, there is also a sibling competitive side that helps all of them fuel the fire to push beyond each other….plus it is fun to show those brothers up!

 

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