Karly Shorr of Milford has a chance to win her first Olympic medal on Sunday. (Sergei Grits / Associated Press)
For Karly Shorr, the Olympic experience is about taking chances.
But for the Milford High alum, 19, it’s more about taking in the complete experience.
When the final selections were being made for the snowboarding team, Shorr was on pins and needles.
So, like many teens, she took to Twitter.
“Still waiting to find out if I made it into #Sochi2014 Olympics. I am literally a bundle of nerves, this is one of the worst feelings,” she posted after the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, the final qualifying event.
After finishing second in the event, she got the answer she was hoping for — and she couldn’t wait to share in the excitement: “IM GOING TO THE FLIPPING OLYMPICS,” she wrote.
Now, she’s sharing her excitement in another way as her event, slopestyle, made its Olympic debut in Sochi on Thursday.
Shorr qualified for Sunday’s finals with a score of 84.75.
In slopestyle, riders perform tricks off park-style rails and obstacles and add jumps and flips off raised hills for points. Shorr’s strongest parts are the rails, where she accumulated enough points to finish second in two qualifying events.
Finding herself at the top of a slope on a snowboard is a departure for Shorr, who grew up with gymnastics. But when her two older brothers would hit the hills at Boyne Mountain, she took a chance and got serious about snowboarding — and quit gymnastics altogether.
Her older brother, Kyle, had a friend in his crew — Danny Davis, another Olympic snowboarder — and she tagged along.
Davis, who won the X Games superpipe competition this year and is also competing at Sochi, looks back fondly on the days he spent with the Shorrs.
“That family, I’m very close with; Karly has always been like a little sister,” said Davis, who lives in California. “The last two years, she moved out to Tahoe and I’ll do what I can; I let her use my house when she needed it.”
Davis, though, won’t take much credit for helping develop Shorr’s game.
“She’s really done a lot of this on her own,” he said. “Same thing — hard work, a lot of riding, a lot of time on her snowboard.”
In the five years since she started competitively snowboarding, Shorr has taken chances, and they’ve paid off with four wins on the U.S. Revolution Tour and several top-10 finishes in larger events.
She had a chance to win the Grand Prix of Breckinridge, where she reached the finals. But the event was canceled.
“I texted her and said just focus on snowboard and don’t worry about people canceling contests; keep riding,” Davis said. “She didn’t worry about the Olympics stuff. She just kept doing her thing and look where it got her.”
It’s gotten her from Boyne Mountain to Sochi.