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At age 17, Dara Howell was the youngest woman at Winter X Games this year. A competitive figure skater until age 15, she switched her focus to freeskiing just two years ago when she joined the Muskoka Ski Club near her hometown of Hunstville, Ontario. Howell's meteoric rise to success this winter culminated with a bronze in Women's Ski Slopestyle at Winter X Games Tignes. After that, she got called up to the Canadian A team for slopestyle earlier this month. We caught up with Howell to find out how she did it, why she's still planning to compete in halfpipe, and what will change when she graduates from high school this June.
How did things progress for you this season?
When Toben Sutherland [who coached Howell on the Ontario provincial team] got named to coach the national slopestyle team, that was my next goal and I decided to do all the bigger events and see if I could make it. When I did the first Dew Tour stop this year, I was just proud of myself for being able to do the course. I got my invite to X Games and that was a dream come true. I put some pressure on myself going in just to do the best that I could do. X Games in France was the most exciting -- landing on the podium just blew my mind. All the traveling has just been amazing. My parents told me that I've traveled more than they have and I'm only 17.
What do you do to keep up with school?
I do online courses so I can ski and train and have some fun at the same time. My dad is always on me about getting my schoolwork done and I really think that's the only reason I'm able to graduate this year. My parents throw everything on the line for me -- they do everything to see me achieve my goals.
|Dara Howell competed in her first Winter X Games this year.|