At Sochi 2014 Dara Howell won the first ever Olympic gold medal awarded in ski slopestyle. Howell dominated the competition, beginning with the top score in the qualification round. In the final, her incredible first run earned her 94.20 points, which gave her the victory by almost nine points. But after that highest of highs, she took most of the 2014-15 season away from skiing, although she did win bronze at the 2015 Winter X Games in Aspen.
She didn’t compete at a FIS World Cup until the PyeongChang 2018 test event in February 2016 where she finished fourth. Howell continued to compete sporadically as she tried to regain her confidence and love for skiing. With the help of coaches Geoff Lovelace and Sian Angharad, she started to rise from the lowest low she had felt in her career.
As a 17-year-old, Howell was the youngest female competitor at the 2012 Winter X Games in Aspen where she finished sixth in slopestyle. She would go on to win the bronze medal at the 2012 Winter X Games in Tignes before she had even graduated from high school. The 2012-13 season saw Howell enjoy even more success. She won her first FIS World Cup medal and captured silver at the 2013 FIS World Championships behind Canadian teammate Kaya Turski. She also won bronze at both Winter X Games in Aspen and Tignes.
A little more about Dara…
Getting into the Sport: Was on skis at 18 months old… Moved into freestyle skiing after “rebelling” from alpine racing and figure skating when she was 15… Had grown up as a ski racer in the Nancy Greene program but found that it wasn’t fun… Loved the jumping aspect of figure skating but nothing else Outside Interests: During the ski season spends a lot of time reading and watching TV on her iPad… Loves hanging out at the lake and wakesurfing during the off-season… Started the Dara Howell Fund after Sochi 2014 to help the next generation female athletes in the Muskoka region a chance to achieve their goals… Odds and Ends: Says her greatest support has always come from her mom telling her “whatever you put your mind to you can accomplish”… Admired Sarah Burke for her drive to always push for more and never settle… Always has a bracelet in the pocket of her coat as a good luck charm…
|2014 Sochi||Skiing - Freestyle||Slopestyle - Women||Gold|
Notable International Results
Olympic Winter Games: 2014 – GOLD
FIS World Championships: 2013 – SILVER
Winter X Games: 2016 – 5th (Aspen); 2015 – BRONZE (Aspen); 2014 – 4th (Aspen); 2013 – BRONZE (Aspen), BRONZE (Tignes); 2012 – 6th (Aspen), BRONZE (Tignes)