Trudy Mickel dedicated herself to skiing at a young age. She’s soared through the air at the biggest competitions a junior can attend in the United States. Now, she’s making an even bigger leap.
Mickel, a Durango local who now trains with the Steamboat Springs High Performance Team, was selected to represent the United States at the Junior World Championships for mogul skiing April 3-7 in Valmalenco, Italy.
Born in 2001, Mickel is the youngest girl to be selected for the 19-and-under junior worlds team, and she is the only native of Colorado.
“This opportunity to compete in Italy will allow me to grow as an athlete and person while doing what I love,” Mickel said. “I will have the chance to gain exposure training and competing against the best junior mogul skiers in the world.”
Mickel will compete in the singles mogul event April 4 and the dual mogul race April 5.
She is coming off the Junior Nationals competition March 13-19 in Sun Valley, Idaho. She finished fourth in single moguls and third in double moguls.
“I was very happy with the runs I put down,” Mickel said. “A goal of mine was to ski a fast, clean run, which I was happy to achieve, but unfortunately it wasn’t my day to get the result.”
Mickel competed on the Nor-Am Tour against athletes from Australia, Canada, Japan and the U.S. Her goal was to qualify for the full tour and earn two top-16 finishes. She surpassed that goal with a third-place finish in Killington, Vermont, where she was the top finisher from the U.S.
“I was very pleased with my results this season and exceeded my goals,” she said. “I was very surprised and excited when I received the invite to junior worlds. This event was a goal of mine to compete at in the future, but I had never imagined this opportunity would come so soon.”
Mickel’s parents, Alex and Molly, own Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Tours in Durango. Mickel trained with the Purgatory Freestyle Team under coach Kirk Rawles before joining the Steamboat team this season.
“It was the opportunity of a lifetime to train with a select all-female team including prior U.S. team members,” Mickel said of her switch to Steamboat. “I had the chance to train with the coach prior to making my decision, and I liked her coaching styles, high expectation and the infrastructure that the Steamboat team provides with summer water ramping and a longer season to access a training course.”
Mickel thanked her parents and family for the support to make her ski aspirations possible. She said her dad sparked her love for mogul skiing and taught her to always go for it.
She also credited Rawles for putting on a great freestyle mogul training program at both Chapman Hill and Purgatory Resort.
Rawles said Mickel has all it takes to get to the Olympics some day.
“She is focused and in a good place to pursue the Olympics,” he said.