By Kathy Eastwood, West Point Public AffairsApril 20, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y (April 20, 2011) -- Brian Mott took a trip out west to Copper Mountain,
Colo., April 8 to compete for the first time in the Boardercross National Competition.
Brian finished 43rd out of 50 racers in the snowboard racing competition and received a $100 scholarship based on points and grade average.
The 11-year-old Highland Falls Middle School student is in his first year of competing and is coming off a competition March 26 in Windham, N.Y.
"I learned how to ski and liked it, but I can't do tricks on skis," Brian said. "I took snowboarding lessons for two years and really liked it."
After two years of lessons, his father Bradley said Brian was getting really good at snowboarding and decided to try competing, but he didn't expect to go to Colorado.
"The first-placed child wasn't able to compete for some reason, so Brian was chosen to go," Mott, a nurse case manager at the Warrior Transition Unit, said. "Although Brian has never won a race, he has finished second and third and was the next highest in points."
Although Brian has been competing locally, the opportunity to experience the Nationals was something he couldn't pass up.
"Brian gained a sponsorship that helped us go to the Nationals," Mott said. "They gave him a new snowboard and other equipment, plus the owner has a snowboarding team that Brian was asked to join. Brian now has his first official sponsor and, hopefully, they can take the team to different
competitions in the area next year."
Brian said he practiced snowboarding every day at the Victor Constant Ski Slope and now enjoys putting the skills he learned to the test.
"(Snowboarding) is a cool feeling," he said. "I look back at the videos that my dad took and it seems like I go two feet in the air--I don't feel like I'm that high when I'm doing it."
Mott is a traditional skier, but decided to learn snowboarding after watching his son become proficient.
"Brian taught me how to snowboard," he said, "and I've been doing it for the past three years. I can keep up.
"Snowboarding or skiing out west is a little different than in the east," Mott added. "They have powdered snow, where, in the east, it's often ice. Any beginner from the east can ski or snowboard in Colorado and be an intermediate."
Although skiing and snowboarding is easier, breathing is a bit difficult at 12,000 feet above sea level. Brian is planning to work on his speed and learning more complicated maneuvers on the snowboard next year.
"I can do a 360-degree rotation. I can grab the board, go down rails and boxes (on the slope)," he said. "But I want to learn to do a 540-degree rotation, which is a turn and a half,
more jumps and to learn the half-pipe."