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The Women's Sports Alliance

PRESENTS...

Mia Brookes – from ‘fridge kid’ to senior snowboard sensation

“I just had this feeling I was going to land it,” Mia Brookes tells the Women’s Sports Alliance (WSA). “The stars aligned, it finally happened and I felt like crying!”

Image ©Miha Matavz & FIS

Mia Brookes was too young to compete in last year’s Olympic Games, she was also too young to compete in the last Youth Olympic Games, but those within the snowboarding community have long insisted she was destined for greatness – when her time came.

That moment finally arrived on 27 February 2023.

In a little-known, but simply stunning Georgian mountain range venue in Bakuriani, the teenager made history by becoming not only Britain’s first-ever World snowboard slopestyle champion, but the sport’s youngest-ever champion.

Mia also became the first woman to land a ‘CAB 1440 double-grab’ in competition.

An achievement which saw her edge ahead of 2022 Olympic champion Zoi Sadowski-Synnott in her second and final run.

HER WIN, IN HER WORDS

Mia claimed a maiden world junior title in 2022 and an impressive World Cup silver in January 2023, but those were ultimately just the warm-up acts for the 2023 senior Worlds.

Stood at the top of the slopestyle course, ahead of her final run, Mia found herself guaranteed at least silver after a stunning opening round.

However, the 16-year-old wanted more and was aware that in order to do so she would have to land a move never before achieved by a woman in competition.

“I knew that if I wanted to win, I'd have to do it (CAB) 12 or try the (CAB) 14 and I was like, ‘You know what, I want to be the world's first to do a 14 anyway, I've got second secured, I've got nothing to lose’ and I just went for it,” she recalls.

“Obviously going down, through the course it was going through my mind and I was thinking ‘okay, landed that, landed that’ and then as soon as I landed the back-nine I was like, ‘it's gonna happen’, I could just tell.

“I landed it and it was just amazing and I couldn’t believe it, but I then had to concentrate because the run wasn’t finished and I had to keep riding to the bottom but it was just insane!”

Image ©Miha Matavz/FIS

In the following hours GB Snowsport were inundated with interview requests with the nation’s newest world champion and Mia admits it was a “whirlwind” experience.

HANDLING PRESSURE AS A CHILD PRODIGY

She has though had to handle attention, expectation and the pressure after being tipped for greatness from the age of 11. “It was definitely nice growing with everyone saying to me I’m going to be good one day, even if they’re saying ‘you’re gonna be like (double Olympic champion) Jamie Anderson’,” she tells the WSA>

“Sometimes if I'm having a bad day, I'm like, ‘do these guys know what they’re on about?’ but days like this (winning World gold), it just makes me realise, ‘oh gosh,’ I could be’ and that makes you feel so amazing.”

CONCUSSION AND COMEBACKS

Mia’s achievements are all the more remarkable given she endured a serious concussion less than two years ago which saw airlifted off the mountain after being knocked unconscious.

“I caught my edge trying to stop and I was out for about 45 minutes and we knew it was quite a bad concussion, which meant I had to take three months off the sport,” she says.

“For two weeks I couldn’t go on my phone or do any sport and the GB doctor said it had to be three months off snow because you can never be too careful at that age.

“Obviously injury sucks really bad and no-one wants to be in that position, but GB Snowsport were great with me. I had physio every day and although it was a really tough few months I got my head back in the game, came through it and got back to what I love.”

FROM FRUSTRATION TO FOCUS – MIA’S NEW MISSION

Image ©Miha Matavz/FIS

Mia was forced to watch on as her heroes took to the slopes in Beijing, China, for last year’s Winter Olympics, as she was too young to be eligible to compete.

Although frustrating at the time, the teenager has used that as fuel and plans to target gold at next year’s Youth Olympics – in South Korea – enroute to a senior Olympic debut at the 2026 Winter Games in Italy.

“I was a bit sad at first, but I actually used not going to the Olympics as a good thing,” she insists. “I realised I could step away and focus on preparing for the next Olympics.

“I think I’ll probably go to the (Youth) Olympics next year and I’m super excited about that because it’ll give me a good idea of what the actual Olympics will be like.”

GET ON BOARD YOURSELF

For those inspired by Mia’s achievements she had this message for anyone now considering trying out freestyle snowboarding, or skiing, themselves…

“It’s definitely a great sport because honestly the people are what make it such a nice place to be in,” Mia tells the WSA.

“Whatever the outcome, everyone's super hyped for you to go and do your tricks and will be super proud of you.

“I would just say if you want if you want to go snowboarding or skiing, JUST GO FOR IT! Don’t let anything stop you because it’s a great sport and environment to be involved in.”



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