CORRECTION: This story originally stated the slopestyle event was for skiing. It is actually for snowboarding.
By Megan Wilson
A Michigan woman is taking her slopestyle snowboarding career to new heights this winter as she will be making an appearance at the 2014 Winter Games.
Karly Shorr is a Milford native who vacations in the Boyne area and snowboards at Boyne Mountain Resort.
Shorr made the first-ever United States Olympic Slopestyle snowboarding team, and is one of four athletes to go to Sochi, Russia.
Karly found out that she was going to the Olympics in December, and things have moved swiftly from there.
“We’re ecstatic. We’re so excited for her. It came on fast. We were surprised it came on so quickly,” said Monique Shorr, Karly’s mother. “We were on pins and needles for almost a day-and-a-half while the IOC (International Olympic Committee) was tallying scores. It was a very competitive field—all the riders were so good.”
The Women’s Slopestyle qualifications will be held at 5 a.m. EST Feb. 6, and the Finals will be held on Feb. 9.
“I’ve been snowboarding for my whole life, but competitively for about five years,” said Karly. “I learned how to snowboard from my older brothers. I tend to do things that most girls don’t. I was always trying to make my brothers proud.”
Karly refers to the condition her brothers gave her as “little sister syndrome.”
“Her brothers were competitive snowboarders. They pushed her to no end, and they still do. They call her daily to see how she’s doing,” said Monique.
Karly moved up to the Olympics after she was finished with the Middle Earth Snowboarding Series at, where she has been snowboarding at Boyne Mountain. Her parents helped volunteer with the series.
“We began 10 years ago running Middle Earth Snow Series. The then promoters’ kids had gone and so we took over. It’s a volunteer thing,” said Monique. “You usually take 30 kids out to nationals every year. We have two Olympic athletes who have come up from the series, and this is where they started.”
Monique added that they are always looking for more volunteers to help with the series.
“I work really hard to help place the athletes with other coaches once they get to the next level, and help to find a good match for them,” said Monique. “Karly’s current coach is Dylan Omlin, he’s got two kids in the Olympics this year.”
Karly also spoke of her time in the Boyne area.
“We’ve been going to Boyne ever since I can remember. We had a condo at The Landings at first, then we moved to another house,” said Karly. “My grandparents have a house by ours in Boyne. They’re the reason we moved up here.”
“Karly’s grandfather works at Boyne. He drives the parking lot shuttle,” said Monique. “Her biggest fans are her grandparents.”
Karly is no stranger to Boyne USA Resort Manager Ed Grice.
“Karly grew up here. She’s pretty much spent her weekends snowboarding on the Middle Earth Snowboarding Series,” he said. “Her parents have been long-time customers and supporters here at Boyne.”
Grice added, “Her commitment to achieving her goal is an example to young snowboarders. It’s very exciting for us at Boyne in even having played a small part in achieving her goal.”
While some have expressed security issue concerns heading into Russia, Karly’s mother said that they don’t concern her at all.
“They keep the athletes very guarded in a protective area. If the athletes want to go out, they are put in a protected vehicle, and they escort them to an area,” said Monique. “They keep them very safe. I’m not worried a bit. I think she’ll be fine.”
Karly’s mother will be going to Russia with her, and will see her when she competes.
“We’re so thankful for all the support that the Boyne community has given to us. We had a benefit in Milford, and people drove all the way to Milford to come,” said Monique. “We’re very thankful for all the support that Boyne USA has given us. They’ve been very supportive over the past 10 years.”
Karly said, “I’m so lucky because not very many people get to leave Michigan and snowboard other places. I’m really lucky to have an awesome family that has let me spread my wings and fly.”