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West Bend native Courtney Rummel hopes to make big impact in Olympic slopestyle

Posted at 6:35 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 09:16:58-05

From Sunburst to snowboarding glory, Courtney Rummel of West Bend hopes to make an impact in Beijing - just like those who saw her coming when she first got started in the sport.

Early in her snowboarding career, Rummel had a distinct style. So what did the feisty West Bend native do to get her parents back?

"I have like a bright pink hat," Rummel says. "I remember, during Nationals when I was really little, they would make me wear the brightest outfits, so they could always see me."

"One year, I changed to just all black," Rummel says. "And they were like, we can't see you coming down the hill! And I was like, I don't care. I am not wearing a pink colored helmet, like purple pants. I could not do it anymore!"

"I do get those comments sometimes," Rummel says. "Like oh, you're from Wisconsin? How was that? Like, how did you do that? And I honestly don't know how I - it kind of is a blur sometimes, how I made it this far."

Her career started at Sunburst in Kewaskum, and the slopestyle competitions quickly intrigued her.

"I don't know what got into me, but it was like a random Saturday and I woke up and I went up to my Mom and I was like, I want to start doing like competitions. I want to compete today," Rummel says. "And she was like really? And I was like, yeah!"

Rummel took her rapid rise to the National team, all in stride.

"I was coming home from 8th grade track practice," Rummel says. "And they called me and they were like, what are you doing? And I was like, oh, I'm just coming home from track practice. And they were like, congratulations. Cool!"

Rummel briefly attended West Bend West High School, but had to move to Colorado during winters to train. And she loves her event.

"I like slopestyle because you can put your own creativity into it and your own style," Rummel says. "Like everyone has their own style in slopestyle. Like everyone does a trick differently. Tweaks their board different. So I really think that's what gravitates people towards it."

Lance Allan: "How do you practice and prepare and get ready for 70 feet of air?"

"Oh man," Rummel says. "It's hard. I mean I just hit a really big jump at X Games, because I was the alternate so I got to still hit the course. That big air jump? Humongous. And I probably take a few laps. I hit first and second jump, because the third jump is always the biggest. And so I'll hit first and second and just kind of ride past it, and then like watch for speed. And then finally on my way up to it, I'm just like, I'm just gonna hit it."

That would make anyone nervous. But her biggest concern right now is Covid.

"I am one of the only people on my team, like the slopestyle team, that hasn't gotten Covid," Rummel says. "Like all of them got it after Dew Tour. So they're monitoring me very hard with that. Like, I have to test almost every day."

And now, she'll be one of the rare snowboarders with Wisconsin ties, showing she belongs.

Rummel spent time in LA at the Olympic Athlete Experience. That is where vendors and sponsors will be outfitting the apparel for the Games. Getting gear and outfits for podium, opening and closing ceremony appearances.

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