For Alta High’s Hailee Mattingley, snowboarding isn’t just a hobby it’s a dream come true.
Last spring, Mattingley’s dream reached new heights as she became the women’s Junior World Champion in slopestyle snowboarding at the Junior Worlds event hosted by the International Ski Federation. The competition took place in Italy last April.
“It means a lot,” Mattingley said of her accomplishment. “I was stoked to go out there to compete.”
Mattingley, a senior at Alta, started snowboarding when she was 6 years old. After her sister started competing, Mattingley followed suit, with her dad as her trainer.
She’s been competing for more than five years now, training on trampolines, snowboarding every other day, and practicing yoga and this award was her first big win. The Junior World Cup is an invitation-only competition for riders around the world age 20 and younger.
Winning such a prestigious competition is fun, but that’s not what makes her work so hard, the 17-year-old said. Chalk that up to her passion for the sport.
“I’ve always loved it,” she says.
Occasionally, Mattingley takes a tumble on the slopes. It can be scary to crash, she says, but each time she gets back up and tries again. That’s part of what makes slopestyle snowboarding so challenging and exciting, she says.
With that kind of attitude and work ethic, the Winter Olympic Games may well be next on her list of accomplishments.