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With history behind her, Jasmine Baird looks toward an exciting future

The Whistler-based snowboarder is the first woman to win a World Cup big air event in a stadium

Her story is just beginning, yet Jasmine Baird already has a place in the record books. 

On Dec. 10, 2022, Baird soared to her first career World Cup gold medal in Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium, much to the delight of her father Andy and 15,000 other fans. It was the very first FIS big air contest ever held in a stadium of any kind. 

“Edmonton was honestly a dream come true for me,” Baird said. “It's always been a goal of mine to win a World Cup, and to be able to do it basically at home in Canada was just huge. To have that crowd there, it made the whole experience that much more insane.

“That was actually the first contest that my dad's been able to see me competing in, so it was really special to have him out there and he was beyond stoked for me. Both my parents have always been so supportive of my career.” 

Trust the process 

Baird hails from Georgetown, Ont. and had the privilege of discovering snow sports at two years of age via her family’s chalet at Beaver Valley Ski Club. One of her earliest memories is hiking uphill after the chairlifts had closed for the day to sneak in one—or several—more runs. She can’t tell you exactly why she chose snowboarding over skiing, but committed to the former as an eight-year-old. 

Her first foray into competition came soon afterward. Baird dabbled in boardercross for a while, but realized that hitting tricks in the park was her true passion. Her mom Linda drove her to all sorts of events around Ontario, and as her skills progressed, so too did her love of being airborne. 

Around the age of 16, Baird joined a training camp in Whistler by way of an invite from Adam Higgins, who at the time was a Canada Snowboard coach and manager. She owned a handful of national-level medals already, and having those results validated by the top brass only fueled her fire. 

Upon graduating from high school, Baird moved to Calgary—and eventually to Whistler—in search of higher-quality training venues. Her first Junior World Championship and senior World Cup event both came in 2017, and she proved her mettle with a bevy of top-10 results early in her international career. Her first World Cup medal, a bronze, came January 2019 in Seiser Alm, Italy. 

It hasn’t all been fun and games for Baird, who tore her left ACL roughly seven months after that inaugural medal. She absorbed a 14-month layoff from snowboarding—the longest of her life—but managed to return to form ahead of her Olympic debut.

The Ontario native paced all Canadian women with a seventh-place big air finish in Beijing last year, managing also 15th in slopestyle. Along the way, she’s leveled up the all-important mental side of her game. 

“Getting to compete at the 2022 Olympic Games was a dream come true,” Baird said. “Being the biggest event I had ever competed in, the pressure and stress were definitely on. I found that I was able to really focus on my snowboarding and treat it like any other contest, which helped calm my nerves. 

“I always get people asking me: ‘how are you so fearless? How do you hit these huge jumps and stuff?’ I'm definitely not fearless. I almost scare myself every day when I'm training because things can go wrong very easily, very quickly.” 

Case in point: Laax, Switzerland earlier this year. Baird was in the midst of a cab double 900, a trick she knows like the back of her hand. She’s landed it hundreds of times, but not this particular time where she hit her head forcefully on the ground. The 24-year-old escaped serious injury, but it was a stark reminder of just how difficult freestyle snowboarding is. 

‘Happy to be doing this sport’

Good things don’t come easy, and Baird is part of a new wave of female snowboarders on the sport’s cutting edge. Her teammate Laurie Blouin is the big air world champ from 2021 and the Olympic slopestyle silver medallist from Pyeongchang. Kokomo Murase of Japan, whom she regularly competes against, became the first to stomp a backside 1440 in women’s competition this September. 

They’re all chasing Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, the reigning Olympic slopestyle queen from New Zealand who has won worlds twice and the X Games five times in addition to her big-mountain exploits with the Natural Selection Tour (NST).

“I am so happy to be doing this sport at this exact time,” Baird said. “Women's progression is exponentially growing, and it’s so fast. [My team and I] were in New Zealand earlier this year, and it seemed like almost every other day, a girl’s putting down a new trick that no girl has ever done before.” 

The next Winter Olympics take place in 2026, but it’s already time to start preparing if you’re a national team athlete like Baird. She is capable of challenging for World Cup medals on a regular basis and hopes also to get an invite to the vaunted X Games. Yet nothing is certain in freestyle, where adverse weather and venue conditions can wipe out a game plan on any given day.

That's why the Whistlerite focuses on clean execution, believing that results will come if she simply rides to her potential.