Powder People - Maddie Bowman

By Yeti Jan 12, 2016
In our latest Powder People installment we catch up with Salt Lake City Westminster student-athlete Maddie Bowman, who made history as the first-ever gold medalist for Olympic halfpipe skiing.
Powder People - Maddie Bowman

As part of Ski Utah's never-ending quest to tell the stories of Utah's colorful characters whose lives revolve around the snow, in this latest Powder People installment, Ski Utah sits down with Maddie Bowman. She made history by winning the first-ever gold medal for Olympic halfpipe skiing in Sochi, makes a habit of standing on top of the podium at the X Games which she again proved this weekend in Aspen, was nominated for an ESPY all while juggling college at Westminster in Salt Lake City. 

Ski Utah Q: This interview is part of an ongoing series dubbed Powder People. Would you say you fit that title?

Maddie Bowman A: From chasing my mom around the mountain with her pockets full of M&Ms at an early age to still spending most of my life on the snow, I sure hope so. 

Ski Utah Q: This is awesome, we feel like we're sitting down with skiing royalty. What was it like winning the first-ever gold medal for Olympic halfpipe skiing in Sochi?

Maddie Bowman A: Of course it was a dream come true but really one of the coolest things is that the Sochi Olympics were the first Olympics to ever host our sport. I tried to treat the event just like it was another day, and with the gold medal and all, things just worked out. The opening/closing ceremonies were probably my favorite moments. 

Ski Utah Q: Where do you keep your gold medal?

Maddie Bowman A: It's just in my bedroom. 

Ski Utah Q: 2014 was insane for you, from your gold medals at the X Games and Sochi to being nominated for an ESPN ESPY. Tell us about the ESPYs. 

Maddie Bowman A: I'll never forget the call from my agent telling me I was nominated for an ESPY. So cool. How often do you actually get to attend a full-fledged red carpet event?

Ski Utah Q: Looking at this year, the X Games is just around the corner. You've stood on top of the podium a couple of times as the Ski SuperPipe gold medalist and know that this is one of your favorite comps of the year. What do you expect this year? 

Maddie Bowman A: I had surgery this past March for a torn ACL. Recovery is going well. . . I hope to be competing in Aspen for the X Games in late January but can't 100% confirm yet. 


Ski Utah Q: Do you have any strange pre-competition rituals?

Maddie Bowman A: I have lucky pairs of underwear for both big tests at school and big competitions. 

Ski Utah Q: Putting you on the spot here, but what are your strengths/weaknesses as a skier?

Maddie Bowman A: I'm pretty technical, I can spin both ways and have worked hard to throw complex tricks that require lots of pieces and elements coming together at once. In terms of a weakness. . .I'd say that I'd like to develop more of my own unique style. 

Ski Utah Q: What's the greatest piece of advice you've ever received? 

Maddie Bowman A: If you’re going to go out and ski just do it. Don’t think about it. 

Ski Utah Q: What advice would you give to aspiring athletes?

Maddie Bowman A: Make sure you’re having fun. If you’re not, stop, reset and go have fun. 

Ski Utah Q: What's life like as a student athlete?

Maddie Bowman A: School (Westminster) is so awesome working with athletes, realizing that we travel a ton and have demanding schedules. And of course, Westminster has the balance dialed, as I think there was some crazy stat about 10% of all Sochi U.S. Olympians hailing from my school. The support and flexibility has kept me in school. For now, competing is my job but I do need a balance and school provides that balance. Needs the personal interaction. I attend Westminster full-time in the fall, but usually take finals three weeks early and leave in November to start competing. I'm back in the summer for summer classes. 

Ski Utah Q: What's your Major?

Maddie Bowman A: I'm undeclared, but leaning towards biology or public health. 

Ski Utah Q: What is your personal mission statement?

Maddie Bowman A: Enjoy what I’m doing. Scare yourself everyday. Make yourself uncomfortable so that you become more comfortable in the uncomfortable moments. 

Ski Utah Q: What food fuels you best for training/competition?

Maddie Bowman A: Try to eat healthy, balanced. Yogurt and granola for breakfast. Fan of lunch, a good sandwich. And I love chocolate, but who doesn’t?

Ski Utah Q: What does your off season training routine look like?

Maddie Bowman A: During the summer I spend as much time as I can mountain biking and hiking. I also go to summer camp with the ski team. When you're 21 and still in summer camp life must be pretty awesome. I also spend many days at the Utah Olympic Park jumping off the ramps into the pool and on the trampoline. Gotta spend time in the air year round. Weights and the gym are huge but we (Freeski Team) doesn't spend as much time with weights as the Alpine Team. 

Ski Utah Q: Where would you like to be in your career five years from now?

Maddie Bowman A: I want to still be skiing. Hopefully skiing competitively. And will have finished my degree at Westminster. Want to get into the backcountry scene. Filming. Every competitors dream is to film powder after competing. After my ski career I'd love to be a High School teacher. I want to make a difference and I feel like teaching provides the greatest way to make an impact. 

Ski Utah Q: What's your go-to for social media?

Maddie Bowman A: I like Instagram (follow her @Maddie_Bowman) for sure although in the middle of a day on snow, I'm so bad about stopping to document the day on social media. 


Check out our entire Powder People series!