At the age of three, freeskiing phenom Gus Kenworthy began exploring Telluride, Colorado’s legendary slopes with his mom. “My mom was learning to ski at the same time as me, so we were good partners,” he says. But it wasn’t long before Kenworthy graduated to the resort’s epic steeps, backcountry and terrain park.
And it paid off. By the time he was 19, he was a regular on the podium at freeskiing’s major events. Last year, he was crowned the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) World Skiing Invitational (WSI) world champion. This winter, he’ll headline the United State’s inaugural freesking squad at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Look for him to be a serious medal contender in the halfpipe and slopestyle events.
But remember, it was Telluride that groomed Kenworthy, 22, to be one of skiing’s biggest stars. “It’s a well-known fact that Telluride boasts some of the steepest, deepest and most diverse terrain of any ski resorts in North America,” he says. And that’s what he likes best about this mountain, stashed in the southwest corner of Colorado, 100 miles from the nearest stoplight.