BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - It takes a certain kind of personality to be a slopestyle skier. You've got to be highly skilled, extremely dedicated and just plain fearless.
Keri Herman is all that and more. As one of the world's top slopestyle skiers,
She's riding the wave of this first-time Olympic sport.
"It's all about creativity. You could show up to a contest and there's 40 foot jumps, or you could show up and there's 90 foot jumps, so you just never know. You have to be prepared for anything - and that's the fun of the sport," exclaimed Herman.
The goal of slopestyle skiing is to perform the most difficult tricks while getting the highest amplitude off the jumps. Key word, difficult…
"When you try something and go out of your comfort zone and try something new, and you land, it is a feeling I can't even explain. It's addicting," said Herman.
Keri now calls the mountains of Breckinridge, Colorado home…but, this Bloomington native will always consider Minnesota her training ground.
For most of her youth, Keri preferred the rink, playing varsity hockey from 7th thru 12th grade. A natural born competitor, she was always finding a way to pursue her athletic abilities.
"When I was little, my brother and I would wait for our parents to leave us home alone, and we would instantly run up here, and set the couch up down there where those two leopard chairs are, and we would jump off this balcony," Herman said.
"She was fun to have around, when she left the house, it was like all the air got sucked out of the house, it was so quiet around here,"added Keri's mom, Diana Herman.
"She's very friendly and creates relationships like that. But, very adventurous. There's nothing she wouldn't want to try or do," said Keri's dad, John Herman.
It wasn't until Keri moved to Denver to go to college that she found her true passion in life-skiing. At age 21, she took the slopestyle scene by storm and immediately made history.
"All of the sudden I'm a professional skier..I'm like: how did this happen? It was really easy to pick up. I attribute most of it to hockey. It's very, very similar with stopping, turning, the edge control,"Herman said.
In 2010, she took silver at both the Winter X and Euro X Games followed by another silver at the Dew Tour slopestyle event. She repeated her silver status at the Winter X games in 2011 and took second that year overall in the AFP rankings. 2012 brought top spots in all those major events and in 2013, Keri won the World Cup slopestyle title, making her the first American woman to do so.