Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/596643

Free to Ski From the age of three, Gildea was a recreational skier. "I loved going to the terrain park at Gunstock in New Hampshire for as long as I can remember," he says. At age 13, he joined the Waterville Valley ski club, which rounded out his talents nicely — in summer, he enjoyed skate- boarding with his friends. "Much of slopestyle gets its roots from skateboarding moves," he says. By the time he was 15, Eddie had reached a crossroads. As his ski competition results improved, he was invited to increasingly more prestigious events. And he kept placing at those events. "Eddie has a mentor who has trained Olympians, and he believed in Eddie a bit more than I did," laughs his father. "As parents, his mother and I thought he would take a year off from school while pur- suing skiing, and if it didn't work out, he would come back to attend The Holderness School in New Hampshire, where he was accepted." That first year of skiing didn't earn Eddie the results he wanted. But during his second year, which coincided with the Sochi Olympics, the circuit was a bit more open while Olympians were focusing on the big event. Their absence meant Eddie earned a place on the World Cup circuit for his sport. He competed and placed 14th in the world during a competition in Switzerland. "We realized it might be foolish to drop out at that point when the best skier from Norway complimented him," says James. To be exact, the Norwegian skier came up to Eddie and acknowl- edged, "Those double corks you did were sick!" Now he lives and travels with professional skiers who are mostly in their early twenties, going from event to event on the freestyle skiing circuit known as the AFP (Association of Freeskiing Professionals). The AFP World Tour is composed of events in alpine resorts 128 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 5 / 2 0 1 6 Slope Style Eddie Gildea at the 2014 FIS World Cup at Corvatsch in Silvaplana, Switzerland

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