Girl on Board – Claire Bidez rides tough |

Girl on Board – Claire Bidez rides tough

Cindy Ramunno
Preston Utley/Vail DailyBattle Mountain High School senior Claire Bidez catches some air.

Aiming high runs in the Bidez family. Fourteen-year-old Dillon and his older sister, Claire, 18, are successful, competitive snowboarders.

Claire Bidez finished classes at Battle Mountain High School early, but will graduate with her friends and classmates in May.

The Bidez duo grew up in the Vail Valley, attending Red Sandstone Elementary and Minturn Middle School.

“I loved the trimesters,” says Claire Bidez, adding that the school’s change from semesters to trimesters, enabled her to finish her credits earlier than expected.

That equals more time on the slopes for Bidez.

Bidez danced on the dance team for two years at BMHS. But what really took all of her time was snowboarding. Her first lesson was at age 9. When she was 10 years old, Bidez began falling in love with the sport. Before that, she ski raced, having been on skis since the age of 2.

“Snowboarding was so different from skiing,” Bidez says.

“There were a lot more training options, as far as jumps and things,” she says. Bidez remembers that instructors didn’t like it when she’d take those same jumps on her skis.

“My brother is the reason I really got into boarding,” she says, adding that it was so much more fun to go boarding with him and his friends than to ski race.

This summer, Bidez will head to Mammoth Mountain, Calif. for two to three weeks since the mountain stays open until July. Then, it’s back home until August, when she goes to New Zealand to snowboard.

Where will she be in 10 years? “Hopefully, I will have had a successful snowboard career,” says Bidez, who is looking towards the 2006 or 2010 Olympics.

“It will probably be in 2010, but you never know,” she says.

“Claire doesn’t follow the stereotyped view of the snowboarder,” says Battle Mountain teacher Suzanne Foster.

At the school, Bidez was involved in the drama productions and speech team.

“She is an excellent student as well as competitor; well-spoken, intelligent and motivated.” Foster says. ” The last class I worked with her in was Dual Credit Shakespeare, and she maintained one of the highest grades even with her competitive schedule.”

Bidez’ advice for young, upcoming boarders?

“Do what makes you happy, ” she says. “I like competitions, but there are some very successful snowboarders who don’t compete. Just have fun.”

How does Bidez fuel that athletic body of hers? Her favorite meal used to be sushi, but more recently she’s taken a liking to Thai food. “Yep, Thai food. Curry … all of it,” she says.

Bidez says she’ll miss her high school and middle school friends next year. “Everyone is very close. Everyone will be off doing their own thing, but I hope we all stay close,” she says.

Vail Colorado

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