Editor’s note: For those who missed our 2016 Youth Excellence publication, we will be publishing each of the 25 features of our local youth in the coming months in our newspaper, and online, as well. This is the second on skier Austin Boehm sponsored by chiropractor Dr. Sheila Boehm at the Yorston Medical Building. The publication is still available at the Tribune for those who would like a magazine.
Austin Boehm is the type of kid most adults aspire to be.
He’s a straight A student, he switched his sport of choice from hockey to skiing because it’s more inclusive for his whole family, he works part-time at Caribou Ski, and he finds time to work with youth two times a week at the Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake and District’s after school mountain biking program.
“I like helping out in the community,” Austin said of his busy life. “It keeps me on my toes.”
Currently one of the top ski-cross racers in his category, Austin began focusing all his free time on downhill skiing when he was about 10 years old.
“Our whole family decided on it,” Austin said of choosing skiing over hockey. “It’s way more of a family sport. Everyone can do it.”
With his dad, Mike Boehm, as coach and his mom, Sheila Boehm, and siblings Nathan, 12, and Emma, 8, among his biggest fans, Austin was ranked the top male ski-cross competitor in the North Zone in his age category two years ago.
“Speed. That’s how you win,” he explains of the sport.
Last season, Boehm, a member of the Timberland Alpine Ski Club, was one race away from capturing the top 14-year-old male in the provincial race series when he crashed hard during a practise run at a race in Fernie and broke his collarbone.
And, as with most teens these days, he still has the video to prove it.
“I just came around the corner and got caught in a rut just before I was going over a jump,” Austin said, pulling out the video. “There was nothing I could do. I just fell forward.”
Austin has been clocked skiing at 120 kilometres per hour and loves the speed, jumps, berms and turns that make up a ski-cross course, where four racers race beside each other down the hill at the same time.
“It just feels super good,” Austin said of racing. “When you carve a good turn, nothing else feels like it. The speed, air, turns – it’s all good.”
He names his dad and other coach, Chris Campbell, as people who have helped him along the way in his sport.
In the summer season Austin keeps fit and spends time with his family mountain biking, even competing in the BC Enduro with his dad.
“We ride a lot.”
Austin has shared that love for mountain biking on the local trails for the last two years with youth signed up for the BCGWL mountain biking program, Sprockids, led by volunteer Denise Deschene.
“Austin is really great at coming up with creative games to build the youth’s biking skills and keep them involved in the program,” Deschene said. “The kids really respond to him. He inspires them to try harder and be a better biker and to just have fun.”
In skiing this year Austin has his sights set on racing again in the BC Alpine Racing Series, and quenching his need for speed and thrills.
“It’s so much fun. I hope to do well in the series and have fun and try and go as fast as I can.”