Road to Sochi: Keri Herman on what drives her to compete at the highest level

Comments by Donny O'Neill/

Freeskier has partnered with Vail Resorts to produce a video series following its team athletes as they attempt to qualify for, and succeed at the 2014 Winter Olympics. We’re giving our audience exclusive cuts of each episode that give an in-depth look at the athletes’ ups and downs on this road the the Olympic stage.

Our first episode centers around Minnesota native and Breckenridge, Colorado local Keri Herman. The 31-year-old Herman is hoping to be in attendance when the Sochi Winter Olympic Games kick off on February 7, 2014, representing the United States in slopestyle skiing. Herman is coming off a fourth place finish in women’s slopestyle at last week’s Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships in Breck, and hopes to continue that success at this week’s US Grand Prix at Copper Mountain.

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Keri Herman competes at Dew Tour, December 2013

Herman began her career in freeskiing later than most, sliding her first rails at the age of 21 while attending The University of Denver. Today, Keri is a threat to earn a podium spot in each slopestyle event she enters, having earned silver medals at X Games Tignes in 2010 and 2011, and X Games Aspen in 2011, and also a first place finish at the US Grand Prix at Copper early in 2013. All the while, Keri competes with a huge smile on her face and a “HI 5″ ready for all who want one.

In this initial episode of the Road to Sochi series, Herman shares her thoughts on the Olympic mindset: what it takes mentally to perform under pressure and qualify to represent her country, and sport, on the biggest stage of them all.

Stay tuned for episodes featuring David Wise and Bobby Brown, as well as an episode showcasing the trio’s experience at this year’s Dew Tour.