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Avery Krumme, Mattheus Heslop named to Canadian junior worlds team

The Squamish-based freestyle skiers will see action in Italy from March 22 to 30
Avery Krumme (left) and Mattheus Heslop of Squamish are representing Canada at the 2024 FIS Junior World Championship.

Avery Krumme and Mattheus Heslop are Italy bound. 

The two Squamolian freestyle skiers are off to Livigno to represent Canada at the FIS Junior World Championships. 

Krumme has been on quite the tear this season, with two golds and three silver medals across Canada Cup slopestyle and big air events in the Yukon, Sun Peaks and Horseshoe Valley, Ont. Heslop has been grinding away on the Nor-Am circuit, with his best 2024 result a 17th place in slopestyle at Mammoth Mountain. 

Whistler-based coach Shonny Charbonneau will accompany the young Canadians at what is both their and her first world-level competition. 

“It's amazing,” said Krumme. “It really means a lot to get opportunities like that, and to have the experiences that not many others have.” 

Bouncing back

At 15 years old, Krumme has already displayed palpable resilience. She missed the entire 2022-23 campaign after breaking both collarbones, but paid her dues in the rehab process. As a result, she’s come back swinging and imposed her will on the competition more often than not. 

“I was just motivated by my love of the sport: getting back out there, pushing my limits and being better than I was before,” Krumme said. 

Adds Charbonneau: “More than anyone, Avery works hard and stays focused during training. She's always on time. I think she was able to come back super strong because she always goes to the gym and she is a really hard worker.” 

Krumme’s father, Ray, is not surprised by this turn of events. He knows his daughter to be a determined person who got past the initial letdown of being injured to change her mindset for the better. Krumme added more weight training to her routine and learned to use her time more intentionally. 

Having buckets of natural talent doesn’t hurt either. Freestyle BC coach Graham Pollock lauds Krumme’s ability to spin in all four directions since she was 11 years of age: unusual for someone so young. She’s innately composed on her skis—if anything, Pollock has tried to rein her in at times so they can further cement her foundational skills during her youth. 

“My two cents: I know she's going to be one of the best skiers in the world,” he said. “I'm just waiting for that opportunity so she can do it.” 

“Avery's always had this natural style with skiing,” concurs Charbonneau. “Even when she first tries a new trick, she'll usually land it with style. She’s always thinking ahead about what new skills she has to learn for certain competitions…and nitpicking her tricks just to make them perfect, which is really cool to see from an athlete of her age.” 

Confident, not cocky 

Heslop is no slouch himself when it comes to talent and work ethic. 

Since his early teens, Heslop has been winning medals in big air, slopestyle and moguls. It’s uncommon for any freestyler to achieve consistent success in all three, causing Pollock to take notice. Right off the bat, Heslop impressed his new mentor with his ability, poise and coachable nature. 

Now he’s ready to strut his stuff at an all-new level. 

“Being a part of a team that’s representing my country is an honour, and I'm really looking forward to spending more time with my fellow competitors from around the world,” Heslop said. 

Freestyle training is a year-round commitment, and the 18-year-old splits his time between the gym and the trampoline whenever he’s not on snow. He knows what he’s capable of, and doesn’t shy away from a good challenge. 

“‘Confident’ is a word you can use to describe Mattheus,” remarked Pollock. “It's not so much confidence that he shuts me as his coach down—he listens to basically whatever I say as long as it's a good idea, but then that confidence allows him to trust me and himself to really push his boundaries. 

“To be perfectly honest, I can't say I'm surprised by the trajectory that his career has taken. He's super talented, but I don't want that to overshadow how much work he actually puts in and his dedication to the sport.” 

Heslop, of course, doesn’t do it alone, and he made sure to thank the coaches and loved ones who help him pull off his high-flying endeavours. 

“I have an amazing support system through my family, friends, ski community and coaches, as well as Coast Mountain Academy and their high-performance program,” he said. “I’m also incredibly grateful to Urban Alpine here in Squamish for their generous support over the years.” 

Both Krumme and Heslop would love to podium at Junior Worlds, and the folks in their corner want that for them. More important than accolades, however, are the experiences they stand to gain while overseas.

“I want them to go and have the best time possible,” Pollock expressed. “Meet some lifelong friends, eat some really good food and just have the best time skiing with some of the best athletes in the world.”