Oro-Medonte's Charlie Beatty earned Canada a gold medal last month, winning the Junior Slopestyle Championships at Winter Games New Zealand.
The Eastview Secondary School student went into the event with the goal of reaching the podium and it all came down to his last run where he pulled off a dazzling score of 92.25.
"There was some belief that I could do it," Beatty said. "Thinking I actually did it is crazy."
Listening to the Canadian national anthem while standing atop a podium with a gold medal around his neck was a surreal moment, Beatty said.
"It was a crazy feeling that I've never experienced before," he said.
When Beatty walked off the podium he was met with texts and phone calls from family and friends.
"They said they watched it on TV and got to see me win," he said. "That was pretty cool."
Beatty, 16, is one of the youngest athletes to ever win the Junior Slopestyle Championship. He has now earned the right to compete at the World Cup level against the best freestyle skiers in the world.
"This has set me up to compete at bigger events around the world," he explained. "Being able to go out and ski for my country against skiers I once looked up to is going to be pretty crazy for me this year."
Beatty has his sights set on pursuing a freestyle skiing career.
"This is something I'll hopefully do for the next ten-ish years," he said. "I'll try to make as many memories and as much money as I can."
Beatty is hopeful he will represent Canada on the world's largest stage at the 2026 and 2030 Olympic Winter Games.
"It's something I want to try and compete for," he said. "The World Cup and World Championship events are coming up and they are the qualifier events to put me on the Olympic team."
Beatty will have to be a top-four freestyle skier in Canada if he wants to represent Canada at the Olympic Games.
"It's definitely doable," he said.
Beatty, who started skiing at just two years old, says it's been an "incredible journey" to date.
"I just started doing it for fun with my friends and never really thought that I was going to go this far," he said. "Even four or five years ago I didn't think I would be here today, but it's definitely something you dream about as a kid."
Beatty thanks his parents, family, and friends for supporting his journey. He also thanks his sponsors (Volkl Skies, Full Tilt Bolts, Ripcurl Canada, Corbetts Snow, Oakley Skiing, Muskoka Woods).
Beatty's mother, Paula Beech, says as the youngest member of the Canadian national team, her son receives no government funding.
"We have to pay for his flights, accommodations, his food, and even his lift tickets when he's on North American tours," she explained.
Beech says the community has truly stepped up to make the talented teen's dreams come true.
"We've had family and friends donate, we've done GoFundMes, and silent auctions," she explained.
Now that Beatty is on the world circuit where he will compete all over the globe this coming season, he will rely again on funding from his supporters. On Saturday, Nov. 18, Beatty is hosting a fundraiser event at Horseshoe Resort.
"It's going to cost around $75,000 for him to be able to compete this year," she said. "Obviously, nobody has that kind of money."
The event will include guest speaker and slopestyle skier Dara Howell who won gold at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
"Without community support, these athletes can't get to their goals," Beech explained. "We kind of shield Charlie from that because he has a job to do, but it is an all-encompassing effort so that he can represent Canada at the Olympic Games."
The fundraising event costs $54.58. For more information and tickets, click here.