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Core fans of slopestyle skiing have been following Kelly Sildaru for years. That in and of itself may be more impressive than what you'll see in her 2014 season edit. That’s because Kelly is only 12. Web edits of her shredding parks across Europe as an 8-year-old started popping up three years ago. At 10 she was already sponsored by the likes of Nike, Red Bull, and K2, and was being interviewed in Powder magazine.
So it would be excusable to be ho-hum about seeing another Kelly Sildaru edit (this one also featuring her brother, Henry, who is about four years younger). That is until you watch the five-minute clip. Sildaru exhibits a prowess and athletic maturity that is reminiscent of a young Shaun White when he made his X Games debut as a 13-year-old in 2000 (He finished 15th in Superpipe). In the edit, you see Sildaru stomp every trick Dara Howell landed en route to winning the inaugural women's slopestyle Olympic gold medal in Sochi last year (albeit not on Olympic-size jumps).
Just the mere fact that she has such an arsenal of tricks would usually be enough to insert Sildaru, who turns 13 in February, into the conversation regarding contenders at X Games Aspen 2015. In all fairness to Howell and every other women's slopestyle competitor, it is a huge leap from filming tricks on jumps you are familiar with, to putting them together on a world-class course when the pressure is on. Besides, as of January 15, just seven days before competition at Winter X 2015 begins, Sildaru was not yet on the invited athletes list. That could change—there are currently only seven women's slopestyle competitors on the roster. Even if it doesn't, rest assured we'll be seeing Kelly competing on skiing's biggest stage soon.
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