Local snowboarder takes place on U.S. team | AspenTimes.com

Local snowboarder takes place on U.S. team

Tim Mutrie
Jordie Karlinski, a 15-year-old junior at Aspen High School, has been chosen for the U.S. Snowboard Team.

Snowmass Village native Jordie Karlinski has joined the ranks of the U.S. Snowboard Team.A 15-year-old junior at Aspen High, Karlinski was selected for the team – she’s now the youngest boardercross specialist riding for the United States – during a team training camp at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., earlier this month.And Karlinski’s timing couldn’t be better – boardercross makes its debut as an Olympic sport in February at the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy.But Karlinski, who grew up riding with the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, must ride well in early season World Cup events in order to earn a spot on the Olympic team. And that’s the case for all the top guns in the three Olympic snowboarding disciplines – parallel giant slalom, halfpipe and boardercross.

“Last season, I got to see how a lot of the contests are run, who my competition is, and who I’ll be competing against in the future,” said Karlinski, who made her X Games and FIS World Cup debuts in 2005-05.”And that just gave me a better idea of how I can get better, who I’ll need to beat. Now, I’m really looking forward to working hard and putting more of the pieces together.”Karlinski’s nomination to the U.S. Snowboard Team C Team boosts the number of valley athletes on the national team to three. Aspen’s Chris Klug, the 2002 Olympic bronze medalist in parallel giant slalom, is a longtime U.S. rider, and Basalt’s Jason Smith, also a boardercross specialist, enters his third year on the team this winter.Aspen’s Gretchen Bleiler, a two-time X Games gold medalist in halfpipe, now rides with a team known as The Collection, though she came up with AVSC and then the U.S. Team.

This summer, Karlinski is working at Paradise Bakery in Snowmass Village – “I need money to help pay for my snowboard trips,” she said – and working out with her brother, Teddy, under noted Aspen Club trainer Bill Fabrocini, who also trains Klug.With her new status on the U.S. team come some perks, Karlinski said.”I get some expenses paid for, and now I get to represent the U.S., I guess,” she said. “It’ll mean better opportunities to ride and race, and I get to wear some U.S. Snowboard Team stuff, which is cool.”At the Mammoth training camp, June 7-16, Karlinski was one of 25 riders, one of six women.

“It was kind of like an Olympic training camp,” Karlinski said. “We were taught about interviews and media – basically what you shouldn’t say, and making sure you’re not looking bored if you’re doing a television interview, stuff like that. And then we went over the qualifying criteria for the Olympics.”Karlinski said Basalt’s Smith, nicknamed “Earz,” emerged from the camp as the top male boardercross racer, earning him starting berths at the first two World Cup events (in Chile and Switzerland) among five that will count toward Olympic qualifying.”Going up against some of the top guys, Earz did great,” Karlinski said. “As for me, I’ve got some work to do.”Tim Mutrie’s e-mail address is mutrie@aspentimes.com