Vail opening day 2011: Heidi Kloser seeking bigger air this season
VAIL, Colorado – Heidi Kloser has always loved the bumps. Now, in her third season on the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, she’s set on getting better with every event, starting with the Dec. 10 World Cup opener in Ruka, Finland.
After a lifetime of competing in local and regional events, Kloser, 19, is still excited about traveling the world in search of badder bumps and bigger air.
“But the travel can be annoying at times,” she said, adding that long flights get even longer when you’re stuck on the tarmac in a snowstorm.
Still, it’s a thrill to compete against the best bump skiers around – after all, the way to be the best is to compete against the best.
Kloser started bump skiing early, skiing in a harness with her mom, Emily, on Vail Mountain. She entered her first mogul competition at the tender age of 7, and won and event for girls 14 and younger.
“I’ve just always wanted to ski moguls,” Kloser said. “I like the feeling of competing. There’s always something to work on – there’s always a new turn, or a new air.”
Competition runs deep in Kloser’s DNA. Mom Emily has won the Transrockies Run, a trail running event, and dad Mike is a renowned endurance and adventure racer. Brother Christian is a mountain bike racer and a former Junior National Winter Triathlon champion.
The Kloser kids have always competed, at everything from ping-pong to biking to bumps. As children, they’d have brother-sister grudge matches on the bumps at Mogul Mania events. And, Heidi says, she used to be able to hold her own with her brother on a bike.
“But he’s getting a lot better,” she said.
For the season to come, Kloser wants to stay on her upward career path. And, while most World Cup event winners are well into their 20s, Kloser would like to be able to step onto a winner’s podium this season.
“Look for me doing harder tricks, and always trying to ski faster,” she said.