By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community reporter
Shrewsbury – Hometown Olympic hopeful? Snowboarder Mikey LaCroix, 20, of Shrewsbury, is not ruling out that possibility.
As his father, John LaCroix, owner and operator of Ski Ward in Shrewsbury, said of his son, “He’s awesome. He’s a local boy trying to make the U.S. Olympic team.”
Mikey first started snowboarding at Ski Ward, the business his family has owned since 1990. He grew up in Shrewsbury and went to Shrewsbury High School, but then to accommodate his training and competition schedule, he transferred in his junior year to Gould Academy, a prep school located in Bethel, Maine, that is well-known for its snowboarding program.
A professional snowboarder, Mikey’s specialty is snowboard cross – a competition involving four to six athletes who race each other down a course that includes tight turns, jumps, and other obstacles.
His interest in competitive snowboarding began when he was 10 years old and travelled to Copper Mountain Ski Resort in Colorado for the Nationals with the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA). He then moved on to the International Ski Federation (FIS) which governs the World Championships and World Cup of skiing.
On his website mikeysbx.com he lists the impressive medals and placements he has received in tournaments around the U.S. and world.
Mikey is currently is enrolled at the University of Mass.-Lowell studying business where he attends during the fall semester. As soon as the semester wraps up he heads to Park City, Utah, to train and prepare for competition. When not competing or training or in school, he can be found back home working at the family business.
Ultimately, he has his sights set on making the U.S. Snowboarding team for the 2022 Beijing Olympics. To do this, he will need to be among the top nationally in the World Cup qualifying events.
“Right now the way that my position works is I only get World Cups spots based on points because I’m not on the U.S. Team yet,” he explained. “In order to get a consistent spot at every single World Cup I need to make it on the U.S. Snowboard Team which is my goal right now.”
An event to help Mikey fund the needed training, travel expenses and equipment for this quest for the Olympics will be held Saturday, Sept. 22, from 5-10 p.m. at Ski Ward, 1000 Main St. Tickets to the event are $50 per person.
The event will feature hors d’oeuvres, a dinner buffet, beer and wine available for purchase and a DJ. There will also be prizes, raffles and an auction which includes a snowboard and a weekend sailing getaway. Ski Ward is also hosting a volleyball tournament earlier that day at 9:30 a.m.
Mikey said that the tournament is a fun way to hang out with friends and support his dream. Individuals can register for $10 and teams for $50.
For more information about Mikey and to purchase tickets for the volleyball tournament and the fundraising event, visit mikeysbx.com.