CARLSBAD, Calif. — A Carlsbad teenager is headed to the 2022 Winter Olympics, ready to show the world her skills during the Women’s Snowboarding Halfpipe event.
Tessa Maud, 18, is training in Mammoth this week in preparation for her snowboarding debut at the winter games in Beijing, set to begin Feb. 4.
“I’m an Olympian,” Maud said. “It’s so crazy to say, I can’t even believe it’s real. I think I was just shocked, I’ve been working for this my whole life.”
Team USA announced the remaining athletes for the games on Friday.
Maud found out she made the cut during a phone call with her team, including her coach Ben Wisner and Olympian JJ Thomas, who took home bronze in the men’s halfpipe competition at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
“[Tessa] went to Switzerland and did quite well. She took 11th, so we thought okay, she seems like she’s sitting in a good spot,” said Maud’s mom, Janel. “Qualification is quite complicated, you also have the coach’s discretion, so we just had our fingers crossed that, you know, the numbers played out in her favor and it did.”
Janel said her daughter has always been energetic and daring, picking up a passion for the sport at age four.
“We were up in Mammoth and she would see these kids with a coach looking down from the chairlift and she would say, ‘I want to snowboard with them, not with you,’” Maud’s mom said.
Maud joined the Mammoth Snowboard Team when she was eight. Since then, she has earned the title of 2020 Youth Olympian and two silver medals at the Junior World Championships.
“I just want to inspire young girls and let them know that if they work hard, they can accomplish it,” the teen said. “It sounds cliché but it’s true.”
She’ll compete during the Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe event, making her country, her team and her family proud.
“She’s so much more than a snowboarder. We always tell her that it’s really a gift that you can do this, but you really have to go out there and be a good human, that’s what’s most important,” Janel said. “You know you raise these kids up and you tell them to go do your sport and have fun and then it becomes this passion you didn’t realize it would and then it takes you on a whole different course in your life. It was a proud moment.”
The Maud family expressed tremendous gratitude to all their family, friends, team members and sponsors, adding the 18-year-old’s dream could not be made possible without them.
“I’m just so grateful to come from an amazing, beautiful place and I want to make San Diego proud,” Maud said.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Maud’s family unfortunately will not be able to go to Beijing to cheer her on, but they do plan on flying to Park City, Utah for a watch party with the rest of Team USA families.