Winter Park 16-year-old Hunter Carey secures podium finish at Junior World Ski Championships

Hunter Carey (left) smiles as he stands on the podium in Switzerland after taking second place in the Junior World Ski Championships in late January.
Courtesy photo

Hunter Carey, a Grand County resident and Middle Park High School junior, is having a busy year.

After wrapping up a successful stint in Switzerland in late January, where he competed in the FIS Junior World Ski Championships, the 16-year-old freeskier is preparing for a extended tour of North American with stops in Calgary, Aspen and Mammoth, California, to name a few. It is all part of a whirlwind season for the young snowsports athlete as he looks to hopefully secure a spot on the U.S. Ski Team along with his fellow Winter Park residents Svea and Birk Irving.

Carey took a step towards his dream on Jan. 26 when he took home a second-place finish in the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in the men’s freeski halfpipe competition.

“Getting second place at the Junior World Championships felt pretty good,” Carey said. “This was my second time going to Junior Worlds. My first time was in 2018 in New Zealand. I took fifth place at that one, so it was nice to improve and grab second place.”

The event was held in Leysin, Switzerland, and featured Carey and 13 other young men in the freeski halfpipe event. Halfpipe events are Carey’s primary focus at the moment and the area of competition he said he most enjoys and where he performs best. He also competes in slopestyle events, tackling park jumps and rail grinds, from time to time.

Carey headed to Switzerland a few days before the start of the competition to get some on-slope training completed prior to the competition. According to the teen conditions in Leysin were less than optimal when he arrived.

“On the first day of training for the competition the halfpipe wasn’t in the best condition,” Carey stated. “I had a crash on the second day of training, which got me worried for how I would do the next day.”

According to Carey, conditions in Switzerland improved for the day of the competition and he was able to successfully complete his first run of the event.

“That always feels good,” Carey explained. “They take the best score of your two runs. In the end I felt really good about my performance based on weather conditions and my crash on the previous day.”

Carey’s journey to the Junior World Championships this year involved several stops on the U.S. Revolution Tour including his second place finish at Revolution Tour competition in Park City, Utah, last year. Carey qualified for the U.S. Grand Prix, a World Cup event, for the first time this year.

“I did pretty well considering I was competing with Olympians,” he said.

After finishing up the Junior World Championships in Switzerland, Carey returned home for a few days before heading north to Alberta to compete in the Calgary NorAm on Feb. 8. After that competition Carey will return home for upcoming events at both Copper Mountain and in Aspen. He will follow those up with some down time where he will be training at Winter Park Resort. In early March he will once again pack his bags and head west to California for Grand Prix and Revolution Tour events at Mammoth Mountain.

Carey, who is sponsored by Monster Army, K2 Skies and Winter Park Resort, that his long-term goal is to progress his skills and abilities on skis and to enjoy the journey he is currently on.

“My short term goal right now is to hopefully make the U.S. Ski team with fellow Winter Park skiers Svea and Birk Irving,” Carey said. “Long-term, I just want to have fun and progress my tricks and my skiing in general. Hopefully that could lead to big things.”

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