Seven years ago, after being kicked off campus, the Ski and Snowboard Team was reinstated on campus. At the time, they were a small group of Trojans with a love and passion for skiing and snowboarding.
None of them anticipated the popularity or success that their team now enjoys. Today, the team is 120 members strong with numerous victories under its belt.
The past three years USC has dominated the freestyle skiing competition at the national level. The Trojans won nationals in 2009 and 2010 and claimed second place in 2011.
“We were disappointed with our close second place finish last year,” said team president Paul Glavin.
“But to our credit we were missing two of our stronger performers, Caleb and Chris Farro, who were abroad. This year we are at full potency to take down the big dogs with style.”
This year, from March 5-10, the team will travel to Sunday River, Maine, looking to annihilate the competition once again and to claim national victory over more than 50 universities from around the country.
To the Trojans, the fact that most of the universities competing are from the East Coast is irrelevant.
“We expect to win,” said Matt Cook, vice president of the team. Their level of confidence might seem puzzling, considering the team is located in Los Angeles — not exactly snow country.
Where does this self-assurance stem from?
Glavin cites the team’s desire to have fun as what gives them the leg up over the competition.
“We are all about going and having fun,” he said.
Additionally, the team travels to Mammoth for training and practice every weekend beginning in November.
If there is no snow, they rely on indoor training equipment, such as trampolines and indoor agility exercises, to tide them over until they can be out in their element.
Tuesday night was a special evening for the team, as Red Bull threw a screening party for its new film The Art of Flight at Tommy’s Place, complete with a DJ.
The film follows incredibly talented athletes as they snowboard in places such as Alaska and Patagonia. The trails they conquer are not for the average resort skier.
Red Bull hosted the event with the hopes of raising awareness of the team on campus. Though they are by no means small in numbers, their presence is often overlooked, as true weather isn’t commonly experienced in Southern California.
Since there is no snow to remind us of the team, their achievements have gone under the radar.
The team looks to gain a larger following on campus after a successful trip to nationals in a couple weeks.