Hello My Name Is: Orage Star Michelle Parker

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on February 12, 2009 11:00 am

It’s impossible not to be a fan of Michelle Parker.  That is unless, you are not hip to this hipster of the snow.  To the uninitiated, understand that this 21-year-old is as multi-faceted as a pocket knife, and just as dangerous when on her K2 planks.  A competitor without being competitive, Michelle balances her primary love of big-lines and back-country with the inherent industry pressures to remain visible through contests.  

This past weekend, citing a lack of snow in Tahoe, Michelle ho-hummed her way to Aspen to compete in her first contest in 18 months. Michelle’s competitive nature can be summed up best by her thoughts on Monopoly.  "Monopoly takes forever to finish. It’s pretty fun when you lose I decided."  It is the irony of competition, that those who want to win so badly add undue pressure to themselves.  Michelle’s relaxed approach equaled results as she took first in the Aspen/Snowmass Open Slopestyle.  Taking to the same course of the recent X-Games, Michelle put in an eye-opening, dominating performance.  Not since Ice Cube messed around and got a triple-double has an athlete made it appear so effortless.  And to think her appearance in Aspen hinged on a lack of hometown snow.  It’s currently dumping buckets of snow out west, one week too late for Michelle’s fellow Aspen competitors.

Michelle’s gap between competitions had been filled with myriad activities befitting someone so full of life.  There was filming with Poor Boyz and Matchstick Productions, cooking up specialties like spaghetti squash, reading lots of books of the inspirational nature (The Path to Freedom by the Dalai Lama & Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson), completing a guide school course in Haines, and much time spent analyzing tea-bag quotes.  "This morning I had a cup of tea. On the tea bag there is a quote, ‘Your intuition is your best friend.’  I think this applies to my life in many ways, but in skiing in particular. Avalanches are often avoided when you listen to your intuition."

With a train of storms hitting the West, snow has returned to Tahoe in a big way.  So, when might we see Michelle again at a park comp near you?  Only the tea-bags know.

photo courtesy of Orage

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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