Oro-Medonte's Charlie Beatty is the youngest skier ever to be named to the Canadian National Freestyle Team.
Beatty, an Eastview Secondary School student, says it’s an “honour” to make the team.
“It’s pretty crazy,” the 15-year-old said. “When they asked me to come ski with the team, I thought it was super cool.”
Everybody that Beatty has looked up to during his ski career is on the national team, which makes his latest accomplishment a "dream come true."
Beatty started skiing at Horseshoe Resort when he was just two years old. What started as a family activity has turned into a lifelong pursuit that he hopes takes him to the top of the mountain.
“I found myself always in the park trying to improve,” he said. “It kind of just took off from there.”
When Beatty was around five years old, he got into the freestyle component of skiing.
“I’ve always loved the sense of freedom it gives me,” he said. “It’s so much fun to use your mind in a creative and cool way. It can be a little dangerous, but it’s rewarding.”
In January, at his first event with the national team in Colorado, Beatty won the gold medal at the Noram Freestyle Ski competition.
“I had low expectations for myself,” he said. “I just kind of wanted to gain experience and get back to competing again, but I ended up putting down the run of my life.”
Beatty says representing Canada with a gold medal around his neck was one of the best moments of his young career.
“I’ve always dreamed of competing for my home country,” he said. “It was a super cool experience on that stage competing against other competitors from around the globe.”
When Beatty isn’t on the slopes, he is volunteering his time at local ski events, schools, and day-cares to inspire other young athletes.
“I enjoy being able to share my story to get more kids involved with freestyle skiing,” he said. “My main goal is to grow the sport and influence kids in the community as much as I can.”
While freestyle skiing is an Olympic sport, Beatty says it isn’t very popular compared to other winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, hockey, and curling.
“So many people don’t really understand how cool the sport is,” Beatty said. “I want other people to fall in love with it as I have. So, I’m just trying to get more people educated and passionate about what I do.”
Beatty is preparing himself for his next competition coming up during the March break in California. His end goal is to ski for Canada at the Olympics.
“I’m trying not to think of the far future right now,” he said. “Obviously, trying to ski at the Olympics and compete at X Games is a big goal for me.”
Beatty thanks his sponsors (Line Skies, Full Tilt Bolts, Ripcurl Canada, Corbetts Snow, Oakley Skiing, Muskoka Woods) and his parents for getting him this far.
“My family has sacrificed so much for me,” he said. “They are the reason I’ve been able to keep following my passion.”