ORGANISERS of the Fort William Mountain Festival have announced that Kirsty Muir is the eighth recipient of The Scottish Youth Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture.
The 17-year-old Olympic freestyle skier (big air, slopestyle and halfpipe) from Aberdeen is currently competing in the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The festivals youth ambassador award, established in 2015, celebrates adventurous young people, the landscapes they explore, and the pursuits in which they excel.
The young winner needs to have shown resilience and determination to succeed within their chosen area of expertise and shown results through their own efforts and ideas.
Kirsty has been described as a “one in a generation athlete” by former Olympic snowboarder Lesley McKenna, and being touted as a strong GB medal contender at the Winter Olympics.
A well-practised freestyle skier, Kirsty hit the dry slopes at Aberdeen Snowsports centre at ‘nearly four’ years old and went on to win multiple youth competitions.
Her maiden slopestyle world cup medal at Aspen Colorado at just 16-years-old alongside her other achievements were key in her winning of the award.
Having achieved a slew of under-age titles at British Indoor Championships Ski & Snowboard and The BRITS Championships, Kirsty made the senior ranks stand up and take notice at the 2018 BRITS.
The then 13-year-old won all three Freeski titles – Big Air, Slopestyle and Halfpipe – against competitors many years her senior.
She went on to be awarded the ‘Spirit of Sarah’ Scholarship by Momentum Camps and the Sarah Burke Foundation, becoming the first athlete outside of North America to win the award.
The ‘biggest breakthrough’ in Muir’s career was when she won a silver medal in the Freeski Big Air competition at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Although the 2021/22 World Cup season is in the early stages, Kirsty has carried over her good form by finishing fourth in the first Slopestyle event in Stubai, Austria, in November, and fifth at Mammoth Mountain in January.
Talking about her award, Kirsty said: “I am honoured to be this year’s recipient of the Scottish Youth Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture.
“I hope I can inspire people to get out into their local areas and give sports a go.”
Lydia Rohmer, the Principal and Chief Executive at West Highland College UHI, said: “We are delighted that this year’s recipient is so very clearly a young person passionate about achieving her dreams.
“These qualities of resilience and determination are what we endeavour to instil in all our students as well as a keen desire to share their knowledge and expertise by teaching others.
“We clearly see these qualities in Kirsty too.”