NYSEF athlete and Saranac Lake native, Kaylen Reiley, already set this goal for next season. Kaylen is a 14 year old, freestyle athlete with a concentration in slope style skiing- a course including a variety of obstacles including rails, jumps and other terrain park features.

Recently, Kaylen went to Junior Nationals in Park City where he completed his first double back flip. Although Kaylen felt comfortable spinning backwards in the air, Park City offers the proper jumps and terrain to make this happen. Kaylen has been doing back flips for three years and finally faced a jump large enough to flip twice! “It was a great feeling to land my first double back flip,” Kaylen commented. When asked how an athlete trains for a double back flip, Kaylen mentioned, “I have 2-3 full days of training during the week. My school, Petrova School is very supportive.”

At Petrova School in Saranac Lake freestyle skiing is a school sanctioned sport. “When I am unable to attend class, I obtain my work from my teachers in advance,” Kaylen described. Like many competitive athletes, Kaylen is forced to be independent and motivated in both his sport and academics. Also like many competitive athletes, he is constantly on the road traveling to competitions so “being able to concentrate on academics and getting ready for a competition on the road is essential” Kaylen added.

Most athletes do special rituals before their event whether it be the food they eat or the clothes they wear. Before every run, Kaylen likes to listen to music. The day before he eats pasta for lasting energy. Yum!

Although Kaylen has been on the podium several times this season, he faces a large obstacle: his size. “It is difficult to get speed all the way through a run because of my size.” All athletes strive to be stronger and better and Kaylen recognizes his obstacles. He continues to train hard throughout the winter and off seasons. In the off season, Kaylen plays soccer to stay in shape.

He also enjoys working in the metal shop at school and is looking to learn more about the welding trade. Stay tuned for more exciting news on this local rock star, Kaylen Reiley.