Sixteen years old and already competing all over the US in huge competitions, Sean Fitzsimons is an incredible role model to all kids. Sean is sophomore at Hood River Valley High School and is known all around town for his talent in snowboarding and skateboarding. He has been on snow since he was three, skiing, and when he was nine he transferred over to snowboarding. Sean started skateboarding at age five and became so motivated to get better that his family now has three large skate ramps in their backyard. The amount of time that Sean puts into everything he does is true inspiration. “I enjoy how he’s very passionate about snowboarding and he spends a lot of time to get better at it,” explains close friend, Emily Curtis.
It takes a lot of commitment to train for one sport year round, there are ups and downs. Sean manages to make the best of every season and improve his skills regardless of whether or not there is snow to train on. During the fall, he is skateboarding or learning new tricks up at Windells. His main seasons are winter and spring, which means he’s up at Meadows or in another state, training and competing. Summer may not seem like a good time to train for a snow sport but thanks to the gorgeous glaciers on Mt. Hood, Timberline is open all summer and Sean spends a lot of his time there. Another common spot to find Sean is in the summer on the river kiteboarding or at the skate park. Kaden Sponhour described Sean as “energetic, social, and determined.” These traits make it very easy to be as active as he is.
Competitions are usually a scary thing for kids but not for Sean, he was competing for snowboarding and skateboarding by age nine. “I travel for snowboarding competitions every week or two during the winter and spring,” Sean explains. The biggest competition he has been to is Rev Tour at Copper Mountain. Athletes must qualify through other competitions to be a competitor at Rev Tour and they are all ranked together, ages 13 and up. Sean has qualified and gone twice, he has placed 9th and 11th which is a huge accomplishment for a young highschool boy. Teammate Wyatt Foley explained what is like to compete with him, “It’s super fun because he gets you to push yourself, so it makes it hard for sure but he’s also your friend at the same time.”
Snowboarding isn’t an easy sport and pushing yourself to throwing big tricks at competitions isn’t always forgiving. “I’ve been injured every spring for the past couple of seasons,” Sean says. “Hopefully I won’t continue the pattern this season.” Injuries aren’t fun, everybody knows that, they cut your season short and set you back in training. They require patience which not all teenage boys have, luckily Sean understands what needs to be done to have a quick, healthy recovery. Most injuries also require physical therapy and relearning certain tricks, but according to close friend and teammate, Wyatt Foley, “Sean is super motivated and is always back on the snow in no time.”
Injuries and traveling take up a lot of Sean’s time, which means he misses quite a bit of school. Being a sophmore in highschool, he has a full eight class workload and many of them are advanced or honors classes. Most students would have trouble keeping up with assignments and would get behind in class, which would have a major effect on their grades. Sean’s Chemistry teacher, Mr. Glane says, “He is the hardest working student I have ever met and he always comes in before class to the get work he will miss.” Sean is very proud of his grades, “I have a 4.0 grade average,” he beamed. His personality and determination is what makes him more than just another hot shot athlete. “Sean is a very outgoing person and he likes to tell jokes,” says classmate and friend, Emily Curtis. “Whenever I’m in a bad mood he always cheers me up, especially in English.”
Sean never takes a day off, “He is usually up to something, homework, snowboarding, usually getting something done,” says Wyatt Foley. Even though he is a busy person he still manages to make time for his friends and everything else he enjoys. Sean’s future goals are “to go to a good college, have fun, and go pro in snowboarding eventually.” Self motivation and good social skills can get anyone where they want to go and Sean is one of those people. “He is very committed to success in everything he does,” Mr. Glane says. “Sean is a true scholar athlete.”
Whether he is on the snow, on the river, or in the skate park, Sean Fitzsimons is the true King of the Boards.
By: Josie Petersen, Talon staff reporter