By Kristian Rasmussen
He spins in a storm of powdered snow like an iced spiral on a cake. Michael Brush [this week’s Pioneer cover star] grew up skiing at Panorama Mountain Village and returned to fly through the air off the biggest jump on the mountain on Saturday, May 5th.
The 19-year-old was here to film for a new ski movie coming out this fall from Inflik Media, a small production company based in Revelstoke. The Columbia Valley local plays out his passion for skiing by participating in events like the film shoot.
“Watching other people go out and do gnarlier things makes you ski harder,” Michael said. “The progression of the sport is unreal. It just skyrockets every year.”
The young skier was raised on the slopes at Panorama. His dad, Brad Brush, is the director of mountain operations there and introduced his son to the mountain lifestyle at a young age.
“I grew up in a ski family and probably started skiing at the age of two,” Michael said. “I haven’t stopped since.”
Michael’s versatility in the sport of skiing has given him a unique style. He is extremely versatile, with experience in everything from big mountain riding to racing.
The skier has a background in competitive racing, but he prefers the creative side of freestyle skiing.
“I ski raced for years and years, and it was so uptight. It was always do this, this, this,” Michael said. “Now it is really my own thing. I can do what I want with it. Being able to have a lot more freedom with the sport is awesome.”
He achieved one of his dreams, competing against his heroes, two years ago at the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler.
“I qualified for the finals of the big air,” Michael said. “I was skiing in front of 14,000 people. It was a live webcast and I was on a jumbotron [screen] with all of my idols. All of the pros were up at the start gate with me.”
Last year Brush earned a second place finish in the superpipe event, and a third place finish in the slope style at the B.C. Freestyle Championship in Whistler.
This year has been equally successful for the young freestyler. Michael just got back from this year’s Telus competition, where he qualified 21st for the slope style competition. He was also able to travel to California to compete in a halfpipe competition.
The freedom of freestyle skiing has helped the skier to develop some big goals for his future.
“This sport just got into the Olympics,” he said. “In the biggest picture possible, I would like to go to the 2018 Olympics.”
On his way to Olympic dreams Michael said that he would like to get involved with bigger events and compete at a higher level in the future. In the meantime the skier is just happy to be home, but wishes there was more of a freestyle following in the valley.
“It would be nice if we could get bigger numbers and more people to shred with. More people interested in coming up into the sport would be awesome to see,” he said.
Outside of competitions, Michael offers coaching to youth interested in freestyle skiing through the Panorama Mountain Freeride Club. The budding star received very little coaching while developing his skills, but said that he would like to give back to the community that has given him so much, by offering his time and knowledge to emerging riders.