The Rising Star: Troy Terry, 21, Of U.S. Snowboarding


Troy Terry had a heart problem before his high school graduation, breaking his femur. It forced him to undergo multiple surgeries and to slow down in his competitive skiing career in the U.S. “I wasn’t one of those kids who was gonna skate every time,” Terry said. “I was actually just kind of self-motivated to make the team. And I saw that as a struggle and it frustrated me.”

His family moved from southern Colorado to Blue, N.M., a small town near Lake Roosevelt, in which they were faced with the reality that it was going to be difficult for their 16-year-old son to compete as an amateur. The move to the ski world took them all to Africa, where Troy and a friend, J.D. Trudeau, found themselves living in impoverished conditions.

While there, Terry and Trudeau worked at a ski school and provided scholarship funding to underprivileged families in the area. That work earned the two young men media exposure that eventually led to sponsorship by the Canadian apparel company Van Heusen.

Van Heusen’s sponsorship helped Terry pursue his dream of becoming a professional skier. “From there it just became a dream,” Terry said. “That was all it was.”

Now he is a leader of the U.S. Snowboarding team and earning money with three to four mounts a day. “I mean, when you start your career and move to Europe, you get a hundred thousand a year to live here in the U.S.,” Terry said. “Then all of a sudden, you get a hundred grand to live in Europe, I think that’s a pretty good start.”

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