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Four Sea to Sky freestylers podium at 2024 Nationals

Krumme victorious twice as Trotter earns bronze; Heslop and Oliver take gold and silver respectively

It has been quite the campaign for local freestyle skiers Avery Krumme, Mattheus Heslop and Jude Oliver. 

Weeks after taking hold of a bronze slopestyle medal at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships, Krumme came up clutch again to strike double gold at Nationals in Whistler. Evelyn Mullie came within a point of the upset each time, but the Squamolian twice fended off her Calgarian opponent by narrow margins (86.00 to 85.33 points in slopestyle, 89.67 versus 88.67 in big air). 

Sylvia Trotter also represented Freestyle Whistler with slopestyle bronze (81.33). 

Heslop was the only one to break the 90-point barrier in boys’ slopestyle (90.33) as he claimed a victory of his own. Oliver nipped at Heslop’s heels for silver (88.83), leaving Ty Kargus with bronze (86.83). 

In boys’ big air, it was Malcolm Farris (95.67), Henri Joyal (93.83) and Drew Christensen (92.17) atop the podium in that order. 

“T​​here's a lot of kids that showed up here who had never hit jumps the size of what we have before,” said Freestyle Whistler director Chris Muir. “We didn't have any real injuries. [The venue] was big and burly, but they all rose to the occasion.” 

Although there were only so many medals to give out, there were also plenty of milestones to feel good about. For instance, Muir recalls how ecstatic Whistlerite Yamato Buhler was about landing his first cork jumps in competition. 

‘The sky’s the limit’ 

Anyone who knows Krumme can tell you she’s often the hardest worker in any given room. The 15-year-old is keen to train as much as her school commitments will reasonably allow, which is why she bounced back from two broken collarbones sustained in 2022. Now she’s busy cementing her place as one of the nation’s more prolific young talents. 

“I was very thrilled with my performance [at Nationals],” said Krumme. “I was a little bit jet-lagged coming back from Italy, so it was hard on the body and a little hard on the mind. Other than that, it was really good.” 

In joining Heslop and several other young Canadians at Junior Worlds, Krumme had what she calls “a surreal experience.” She found it eye-opening to represent the Maple Leaf in a proper international opening ceremony, while her fourth-place big air result proves that she’s capable of holding her own against top opposition. 

Her father Ray is delighted. 

“There are so many life lessons with sport,” he said. “I think that's the most important thing. To actually see the world and travel and get those experiences—Avery will remember that forever. The sky's the limit with her ability and I know her goals are a lot loftier than her recent performances. 

“The future is going to be exciting for Avery. [Her mom] Rachel and I are just there to support her and give her those opportunities.” 

‘Pulling myself together’ 

Heslop knows a thing or two about bouncing back himself. 

The 18-year-old absorbed a heavy, head-first crash during Junior Worlds and was rushed to hospital. Some feared serious injury, but concussion protocol fortunately revealed no permanent damage. 

Even so, it may have been the first time Heslop’s typically-boundless confidence was truly shaken during a contest. 

“That [injury] was pretty scary,” he admitted. “I landed right on my head and then I was super disoriented. There were definitely some nerves [competing in Whistler], especially during big air. The weather wasn’t great on Sunday, and it was kind of the same as in Italy when I crashed.” 

Nonetheless, Heslop managed to regroup. 

“I’d say I did a pretty good job of pulling myself together and putting down a run,” he commented. “The original plan for Nationals was just to have some fun. These courses that they build [in Whistler] are far from standard, and I think it definitely helps to live here and constantly be skiing them.” 

Heslop has his sights set on the Nor-Am circuit next season. Elite results on that tour would vault him into World Cup action, which remains the ultimate goal. 


We should all congratulate Oliver for his silver medal. We should also be blown away by the fact that he’s just 14. 

As one of the youngest athletes in the field, Oliver understandably felt anxious going into last weekend. He vented to his mom Louise and to coach Brandon Fritz (a.k.a. Fritzy) about how well he’d seen his opponents perform, and how he doubted his own ability to keep up with them. 

Louise and Fritzy helped him discover self-belief, and for good reason. Oliver has a triple cork 1080, a switch double 1260 and an unnatural double 1080 in his bag of tricks—stuff that one might see at a Nor-Am tier event. He landed all three during his slopestyle run. 

“I’ve had so much experience on these jumps in Whistler and my coach has really pushed me to get ready for all the bigger competitions,” said Oliver. “It means a lot to do super well at one of them because I’ve trained so hard for it.” 

Oliver’s illustrious season also includes big air gold and slopestyle silver at a national-level contest in Calgary and a landslide overall title on the Timber Tour—which he will likely not return to despite having one more year of eligibility. The young man’s knowledge of freestyle skiing transcends his age, and he’s excited to brush shoulders with all kinds of peers at every outing.

“It feels great to get out there and compete against a bunch of my friends from Silver Star, Big White, Sun Peaks and all these other areas,” Oliver said. “It's definitely awesome to see them try their hardest and see myself progress.” 

Of course, his most important supporters are right here at home. 

“Freestyle Whistler tries to get the best out of you and they really have the best coaches in the game for that,” remarked Oliver. “It’s an honour to be against the guys who compete for the province when I'm just competing for my hometown.” 

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