Tuesday, February 18th
STOWE, Vt. -
While most Vermont high schoolers were learning limits this month, Stowe native Ty Walker was pushing hers as one of the youngest athletes in the inaugural ladies slopestyle event at this years Olympic Games in Sochi.
"It's kind of crazy, kids looking up to me,", said Walker. "I used to look up to Kelly, Hannah & Shawn... It's pretty weird."
While many teenagers would falter under this kind of pressure, this 16-year old is not just any teen. For her, representing the U.S. in the Olympics was a lifelong dream turned realization.
" I always imagined this for myself so when I got back I wasn't really surprised. All I ever wanted to do was get into the Olympics."
However, her trip was met with challenges. Walker badly injured her right heel in an early training run, putting her chance to compete on very thin ice.
"The biggest moment of your career and you can't even compete to your highest level. It was hard."
Built Vermont strong, the Olympian was able to fight through the pain, qualify and even put down a pair of impressive semifinal runs. In the end, she would finish 14th, but more importantly, she proved to herself and the world that she belonged on the biggest of stages.
"It sounds weird to say, but I was very proud of myself after all I had to go through. It was great to make something out of my trip."
With training in Breckrindge, qualifying and the Olympics, Walker doesn't get to come back to her Vermont roots much. So when she does come home, she makes the most of it.
"I love coming home, it's the only place I can relax and get away from the fast paced lifestyle, it's great."
As for her future plans, the budding star says she hopes to be ready for the U.S. open in early March, and in the distant future, another shot at the olympics in 2018...
"That's what I want, it was great to go but a gold medal is where it is at."
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