HUNTSVILLE - Dara Howell will be standing on hallowed ground this week.
Dara Howell, seen here training recently in Breckinridge, Colorado, is off to a good start in 2013.
Actually the term hallowed snow would be more appropriate.
The 18-year-old Huntsville resident will be in Sochi, Russia as a member of the national freestyle ski team.
The trip was supposed to be for a Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS) World Cup stop, which was slated for Feb. 12 and 13, but Howell said that the event has since been cancelled.
However, the national team will still be going to check out the venue where freestyle skiing will be making its Olympic debut, and a place where Howell hopes she will be making her own Olympic debut as well.
“It might be,” she said. “I definitely looking forward to being at the venue to seeing everything and seeing what potentially I could be doing next year.”
Those Olympic hopes appear to be attainable, given Howell’s more recent accomplishments in Colorado. She captured bronze in a challenging women’s slopestyle event at the 2013 Winter X Games at Aspen, Colorado on Jan. 26, and she captured a silver medal at a FIS World Cup slopestyle event on Jan. 12 at Copper.
Howell scored a 89.33 in her second run at the X Games, enough to match her bronze position from Euro X in 2012. She netted a score of 85.8 at the World Cup stop.
The bronze medal was a redeemer for Howell, who came in sixth at the 2012 X Games. She said that she was more determined and better prepared to capture a medal at these games.
“I have been training more, I stayed focused and had a bit more fun too. I had a rough morning on the day of the competition and there was some snowfall overnight. One of my friends fell during warm-up and couldn’t compete and that all freaked us out a bit. But we tried to stay focused, and do what we had to do.”
Howell was in second place during the competition but was eventually edged out and managed to hang on for the bronze medal.
“I definitely want to keep progressing. Progression is huge for me, I want to keep pushing the sport and pushing myself and today was a run I knew I could put down and I just have to get those grabs (on the skis) better for next time.”