CARLSBAD — Carlsbad native and snowboard wunderkind Tessa Maud has been selected to represent the United States at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.
Maud, who is currently ranked fourth nationally among female snowboard halfpipe riders, will attend her first-ever Olympics as a member of Team USA’s 26-member snowboard team.
The 18-year-old is one of the youngest riders on a team comprised of several defending medalists expected to have another strong showing at this year’s Winter Games.
A natural talent born on the slopes, Maud started snowboarding when she was just four years old and joined the Mammoth Mountain Snowboard Team at age 7. By the age of 15, Maud was competing alongside some of the biggest names in the sport, including Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim, Olympic bronze medalist Arielle Gold and Maddie Mastro.
“I just fell in love with it,” Maud said. “I love that I can go fast and go big in the half-pipe and I can express my creativity through it.”
Maud already has a few impressive achievements under her belt, placing second in the Junior World Championships in 2019, third in the ’21 Europa Cup in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, and five podium finishes in the Nor-Am Cup in ’18 and ’19.
Last year, Maud was named to the Team USA Rookie squad competing in the women’s snowboard halfpipe category. Maud said she’s dreamed of competing in the Olympics since she was a little girl.
“I’ve had that goal (of competing at the Olympics) for a long time, like as long as I can remember,” Maud said. “I’m just trying to be present and stay in the moment through this because it’s my first one, so I just want to soak it in, but it’s a dream come true.”
Maud grew up in Carlsbad but splits her time between Carlsbad and Santa Barbara when she’s not practicing a variety of flips, twists and spins in a powdery halfpipe. Maud’s parents, John and Janel, are both fans of the sport. Janel is a third-grade teacher at R. Roger Rowe School in Rancho Santa Fe, a school Maud attended before transitioning to online school.
In an Instagram post announcing her upcoming Olympics journey, Maud thanked her family, friends, community and sponsors for supporting her throughout her snowboarding career.
Maud will join a former Carlsbad resident on Team USA, three-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White, who will be attending his fifth Olympic games. White was born in San Diego and graduated from Carlsbad High School.
The women’s snowboard halfpipe qualifiers will be held on Feb. 9 with finals on Feb. 10.