Mountain Athlete Freeski Team members Forrest Jillson, Kaki Orr, Sam Schwartz, Monica Purington and Snowmobile Hillclimb Racer, Jess Turtur, have all landed manufacturer sponsorships for the 2014-2015 winter season.
Jillson, 27, secured a sponsorship from ski manufacturer, Volkl. Orr, 29, just signed to be part of the The North Face. Turtur, 30, was re-signed as a sponsored rider for SkiDoo. Schwartz, 18, landed a spot skiing for K2. Purington, 24, secured Rossignol as a sponsor.
Jillson, who is ranked 4th in the American region for freeskiing and 9th in the world, shared his excitement. “I’m stoked to ski for Volkl this season” he said, “Skiing for a company of their caliber is an honor, and I’m looking forward to taking my skiing to the next level.”
Orr was lining up a promising competitive season last year when she was sidelined by injury in January. It speaks well of her potential that despite the injury, The North Face placed Kaki on it’s team this season.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to work with The North Face,” said Orr, 29. “I’m recovering well from my knee surgery and am excited for the snow to fly and to compete this season.”
Schwartz was the 2013 Freeride World Tour Junior Champion, and was one of the youngest competitors on the FWT Qualifying Men’s Tour last year, where he scored a couple top 10 finishes. “K2 has always been one of the leaders in the ski industry,” said Schwartz. “I could not be more excited to continue to work with and represent them.”
Purington, who completed her second year on the FWQ with numerous top 10 finishes,“I grew up racing on Rossignol Skis, to be a part of the freeski family is a dream.”
Turtur started riding for SkiDoo last year, and was re-signed and promoted for the 2014-15 hillclimb season. Last year’s hillclimb circuit was her rookie season, and she can’t wait for this year to apply the lessons learned from last year. “SkiDoo’s sleds complement my riding strength perfectly,” said Jess. “I learned a lot last year, am training hard now, and am aiming for podiums next winter.”
Sponsorships include a mix of gear and apparel from the companies, as well as travel or competition funding support. Recognition in their sport is also a perk of sponsorship, as the companies often use athletes in photo shoots, promotions, and marketing campaigns.
All four athletes train year-round at the Mountain Athlete training facility, and dedicate their winters to the competition season.