Winter Park’s Nik Seemann makes U.S. Freestyle Ski Team
In the United States, most young skiers competing at the highest level have a common dream – to make the U.S. Ski Team.
For Grand County native Nik Seemann, the dream just became a reality.
Seemann, 17, received a call over the weekend from Joe Davies, the U.S. Ski Team’s aerials coach, informing him of his selection to the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team’s aerials squad.
“I was stoked,” Seemann said of his reaction to the news. “I was surprised that he called. I wasn’t expecting a call.”
For the back-to-back Freestyle Junior National Aerial Champion, taking a spot on the team has long been a goal.
“I’ve been trying to do that for a long time, trying to make the team,” Seemann said.
“In my sport, that’s a goal, that’s a big thing to do if you want to move on to World Cup and Olympics. You have to be on the ski team.”
Making the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, which has one of the premier aerial teams in the world, is “the real deal,” Seemann said.
“It’s kind of an honor just to be on the team that represents the United States,” he said. “It’s definitely an honor.”
Seemann spent last summer training with the U.S. Ski Team in Park City, Utah, as part of its aerials development group.
In March of this year, he won his second Junior National Aerial Championship, stealing the show with a quadruple twisting triple back flip.
Though it was Seemann’s first season throwing triple back flips, he was confident enough to pull the trick out again on March 28 at the U.S. Freestyle Championships in Steamboat Springs.
Seemann stuck the trick on his qualifying run, earning him the top qualifying score of the competition.
A slushy course gave him a bit of trouble on his second landing, he said, and he finished 10th overall.
Despite falling a bit short in his second run, Seemann’s father Chris said he believed the stellar qualifying run led to his son’s selection.
Chris, who also holds a U.S. National Aerial Championship, is the Mogul Jump coach for the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team.
Seemann’s parents are very proud of him, Chris said, calling his son’s achievement “awesome.”
“I did it for a living so I know the road map, but Nik’s still the one who got it done, so that’s pretty impressive,” Chris said. “And it’s pretty impressive at such a young age.”
Chris added that he would “probably still even coach (Nik) a little bit.”
Seemann’s first competition as a U.S. Ski Team member will be in December 2015.
He graduates from Middle Park High School in May and will spend the summer training with the team, first in Lake Placid, N.Y., then in Park City.
Seemann said he was especially thankful for the support he’s received from the Grand County community.
He added that he hopes to learn a lot while on the team as well as “have a good time” with his teammates.
“I just hope to keep progressing and be part of the team,” Seemann said. “It’s a big step in my career, so I’m excited, definitely.”
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