Milford High School’s Karly Shorr is Headed to Sochi
Milford High School 2012 graduate Karly Shorr is on her way to Sochi as a member of the USA Slopestyle Olympic Team. She received a phone call she will never forget on Monday night, January 20, just after 10 p.m. - an invitation to represent Team USA in Sochi.
While Shorr is headed to the Olympics today, her journey began as a sophomore at MHS when she traded her skills as a gymnast to make the switch to snowboarding in 2008. And as the story goes, the rest is history.
Shorr’s first time snowboarding was at Mammoth Mountain in the Inyo National Forest in California in 2000. Little did she know that a race down the slopes in California a few years later would get her name in the mix for a spot on the Olympic Team.
Slopestyle made its Olympic debut at the 2014 games. Slopestyle, where skiers barrel down a challenging course containing a series of jumps, includes rail features testing athletes’ courage as they flip through the air. Each judge awards points based on style, difficulty, amplitude and clean execution.
Shorr’s training began in earnest as she moved to California in the second semester of her senior year at Milford High School. She credits MHS teachers for accommodating her busy training regimen by emailing her assignments and by taking online classes. She was excited to return to walk in graduation ceremonies with her classmates in 2012.
Participating in a variety of sports has been a key for Shorr that began when she was very young. She started gymnastics at the early age of 3, coached by her mother. At age 5 she trained at the Oakland Gymnastics Center. She competed for four years as a level 8 gymnast competing throughout the Midwest until she was 12 years old. In 2008, at age 14, she began competing in snowboarding at local events.
Shorr ran track at Highland
Middle School where she excelled in the high jump. At Milford High School she played volleyball.
“My coaches taught me the value of honesty, integrity and to be an all-around good athlete by being a good person,” she said.
In 2010, Shorr won the snowboarding state championship at Milford High School. In 2011, she was invited to represent the United States at the Junior World Championships where she took third place in the slopestyle race. She was back-to-back Slopestyle Revolution Tour Champion in 2012 and 2013, which was her segway into the pro level Grand Prix and World Cup.
Shorr attributes her competitive spirit to her brothers Kyle and Kevin. “I always wanted to show them I was cool and I could snowboard! They pushed me to always do harder tricks and I know I had to do it,” she said. “I’m a competitive person by nature and I like being good at what I do. When I don’t come out on top it only makes me work harder.”
Shorr says the single most important thing she learned from her coaches comes from her current snowboard coach Dylan Omlin. “Coach Omlin is the best coach for me. He knows exactly what to tell me. I think he knows me better that I do … He is the reason I am an OLYMPIAN!”
Karly trains at the Boreal Ski Resort in Soda Springs California. After early morning coffee, she heads to the hill where she jumps for three hours, followed up with yoga and weight training in the afternoon.
The 2013-14 Olympic Trials was a huge challenge for Shorr as she started out slow in the first two trials. She finished in second place in the third event and took second once again in the fifth and final event. She was tied with Ty Walker for second place points overall. The tiebreaker put her in third place.
“My phone rang and I saw that it was the U.S. Olympic Coach Bill Enos on my caller ID. I ran outside because I was in a cabin with no electricity, no running water and no cell phone service in the middle of the Sierra Mountains. I was having dinner with my friends when Coach Enos asked me, “Do you want to accompany me to the world’s largest prom? I answered him YES!”
“I was so excited and felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders,” Shorr said. “I am going to the Olympics! I called my Mom and she was so happy. I think she was cr ying.”
Proud parents, Mo and Keith Shorr and brothers Kyle and Kevin, are so excited they can hardly sleep. Mo, a teacher at Hartland Middle School at Ore Creek, is finalizing plans to join Karly in Sochi.
Shorr would like to thank her family, friends and small town of Milford for the all the support. Many thanks to her sponsors: Pret Helmet, Mt. Brighton, Oakley and K2.
Make sure you tune in to see Karly compete in the Women’s Slopestyle competition on Sunday, February 9 in Sochi. Good luck Karly!