April Fool’s: Vail toddler youngest-ever to make ski team
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL – Andromyda Bounce learned to ski before she could walk. In fact, she had barely left the Vail Valley Medical Center’s maternity ward the first time she hit the slopes.
“The morning we were leaving the hospital, it had dumped overnight and we were like, Andy needs to have an appreciation for the beautiful paradise in which she was born,” said her mom, Posey Bounce-Hilfiger, a local yoga instructor. “So, I swaddled Andy up real tight, strapped some tongue depressors to her feet and guided her down Born Free.”
Andromyda , now 7, was shredding moguls before she was potty-trained and hucking cliffs before she could count to 10. She skied the Minturn Mile by herself for first time at age 3 and did her first solo hut trip from Vail to Aspen at age 5. She learned Wednesday she was named the youngest-ever member of the U.S Freestyle ski team’s aerials squad.
“I like doing Shrinky-Dinks and double-ollie triple-inverted quadruple-reverse backflips,” says Andromyda, describing her favorite at-home craft and her signature trick, which, on the aerials circuit, is known as the “Day-Care Devastator.”
But Andromyda isn’t the only Vail Valley toddler pushing the athletic envelope. Five-year-old Odin Bokamper, after setting seven-straight state records in the Colorado Toddler Triathlon, cruised to a third place last weekend in Ironman Triathlon – in the 18-to-45 age group.
“I’m really disappointed with that finish,” Bokamper said. “I guess I just didn’t want it bad enough. Plus, when I grow up, I want to be an wizard who’s also an astronaut and a unicorn.”
Vail Valley child psychologist Tulane Sockpuppet attributes the extraordinary drive of local toddler-athletes to parents who moved to the area from big cities and are trying to make up for time they didn’t spend running, biking and skiing all over the great outdoors when they were kids.
“The Vail Valley has the highest-per-capita use in the free world of those little trailers that parents put their kids in and attach to the back of bikes to drag them to Leadville and back,” Sockpuppet says. “Do you think kids’ enjoy that? God no. I’m just about finished with a study that proves riding in those contraptions increases kids’ chance of developing claustrophobia, seasickness and right-wing political beliefs.”
But Sockpuppet’s warnings are apparently falling on deaf ears. Three-year-old Waylon El Salvador plans to drive a self-propelled bike caddy across the country later this spring. Ramirez says he isn’t trying to raise awareness of global warming, illiteracy, clean drinking water or any other global crisis, he just wants to find his “breaking point.”
“I don’t believe in limits,” he says.. “I believe in going to edge of one’s physical capacity and then pushing oneself way way past it. I also believe in the Tooth Fairy, Jedi Knights and that the Loch Ness Monster is a robot made of Legos.”