Local skier competes in Sports Illustrated for Kids contest
Truckee’s Andre Simonpietri is continuing his quest of youth freestyle glory.
The 12-year-old skier was invited by Sports Illustrated for Kids to participate in the 2006 Next Snow Search All-Stars event, which took place in Keystone, Colo. Jan. 27 and 28.
Competing against 50 skiers, Simonpietri placed in the top 10 in three of the four events he competed in, and landed a third-place finish in the slopestyle competition.
The event brought together the best athletes from the 2004 and 2005 Next Snow Searches ” which is separate from the All-Stars event ” as well as the Super Qualifiers from this year’s Next Snow Search.
Skiers and snowboarders were judged in four events: Superpipe, slopestyle, big mountain cross and big air, as well as sportsmanship. The top three overall finishers among female and male skiers and snowboarders were named all-stars.
While Simonpietri was not named as one of the 12 all-stars, he was nonetheless happy with his performance at the event.
“It was really fun and it’s cool so many kids made it out there,” he said.
Simonpietri’s mother, Suzie, was pleased with his performance, as well.
“He stuck his runs. He went huge,” she said.
The Sports Illustrated for Kids Next Snow Search is an annual competition that brings together the best skiers and boarders in the country between the ages of 9 and 13. In the competition, skiers compete with boarders, and males compete with females, in an attempt to become one of the 25 athletes named to the Sports Illustrated for Kids Next Snow Team.
Simonpietri placed sixth overall in last year’s event.
“Andre is an amazing skier because he is good at everything,” said his ski coach, Clay Beck.
Beck hopes that Simonpietri will eventually make it onto the U.S. Ski Team. For the near future, however, both Beck and Simonpietri are more focused on the upcoming Junior Olympics. In order to concentrate his energy on the Junior Olympics, Simonpietri is not planning on competing in this year’s Next Snow Search.
And Simonpietri’s biggest goal right now is taking the young skier away from the slopes.
“I’m working towards doing better in school,” he said.
An hour-long segment showing clips and interivews of the Next Snow Search All-Stars event will be featured on NBC Sports on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 11 a.m.
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