Winter Olympic hope Kirsty Muir wins College-sponsored Youth Award

West Highland College UHI is delighted to announce that elite freestyle skier Kirsty Muir, currently competing in the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, has been named as the eighth winner of The Scottish Youth Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture by the organisers of the Fort William Mountain Festival.

see full size image
Kirsty Muir. Photo by Dave MacLeod.

Kirsty, 17, has won the prestigious Scottish Youth Award - which is sponsored by West Highland College UHI - in recognition of her resilience, determination to succeed and excellence in her chosen field thanks to her extraordinary rise to the top of the international freestyle skiing circuit from hitting the dry slopes of her home city's Aberdeen Snowsports Centre at ‘nearly four’ years old.

The Fort William Mountain Festival’s youth ambassador award, established in 2015, celebrates adventurous young people, the landscapes they choose to explore and the outdoor pursuits in which they excel. Described as a "one in a generation athlete" by former Olympic snowboarder Lesley McKenna; and being touted as a strong GB medal contender at the Winter Olympics, Kirsty epitomises these principles perfectly.

Lydia Rohmer, Principal and Chief Executive, West Highland College UHI, said:

“West Highland College UHI continue to be privileged to sponsor The Scottish Youth Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture. We are delighted that this year’s recipient is so very clearly a young person passionate about achieving her dreams.

"Kirsty is committed and driven to overcome any challenges that come her way to reach the top in her sport. These qualities of resilience and determination are what we endeavour to instil in all our students as well as a keen desire to share their knowledge and expertise by teaching others and we clearly see these qualities in Kirsty too. We wish to send our congratulations to Kirsty and wish her every success in her future career.”

Now competing in the Big Air, Slopestyle and Halfpipe events, Kirsty started to hone her freestyle craft at  seven-years-old, taking multiple youth competition podiums and a memorable maiden slopestyle World Cup medal in Aspen, Colorado at 16. She is renowned for her grit, passion, training, focus, dogged determination for success, and her humility.

Kirsty said:

“I am honoured to be this year’s recipient of the Scottish Youth Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture. I hope I can inspire people to get out into their local areas and give sports a go.”

Although the 2021/22 World Cup season is in the early stages, Kirsty has carried over her good form by finishing fourth in the first Slopestyle event in Stubai, Austria, in November, and fifth at Mammoth Mountain in January.