I’m trying to be a normal 16-year-old. I’m a sophomore at Lakewood High School, and I play football there. I like to bike during the summer, write, play video games and just do things that a normal 16-year-old would do.
The problem is, it’s not that easy.
I’ve been skiing since I was three, and I started competing in half pipe skiing competitions when I was only eight. When I was nine, I won my first national competition, and I kind of realized that I might be decent at skiing.
When I got to bigger competitions, kids got a lot better. When I was 14 and 15, I was able to compete in the Rev Tour, and I did well. My skiing has taken me to China, Switzerland and other places in the world, but recently, it has taken me to somewhere that I’m pretty excited about — the 2020 U.S. Youth Olympic Team.
Lakewood’s Olympic athlete
Right now, I’m training to compete in the Youth Olympics but there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes.
Juggling my skiing and schoolwork is a big responsibility, but I’ve had teachers help me with all the schoolwork. It’s a huge time commitment. I normally have to compete and then come back and do schoolwork from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
I’ll be competing in the Youth Olympics in Switzerland. The Opening Ceremony just kicked off, and I compete on Jan. 20.
It’s pretty cool to be on the U.S. Youth Olympic Team. I’ve had a lot more people talk to me about it, and more people come up and ask me about it. I truly haven’t been around some of the athletes in other sports, but I’ve been able to hang out with a bunch of kids that are on the half pipe team. It’s a lot of the people I ski with. Nothing has really changed, it’s just an added title and different competition than I normally do.
I want to ski as long as possible, but I know it won’t last forever. I’m trying to get good at a bunch of different things at life. Once skiing ends, I’ll be able to do something else.
If you have any nominations for My Name Is... contact Joseph Rios at firstname.lastname@example.org
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