An Olympic Champion Comes Home to BMS

Did you know that Julia Marino, the Olympic silver medalist who won Team USA’s first medal, went to BMS? At 24-years old, she impressively won a silver medal and stood on an Olympic podium in Beijing.

Julia’s dream job career has been become a professional snowboarder. She stuck with that dream and accomplished it.
It’s a wonder how she managed to follow that one same path as she grew up, and to become exactly what she hoped for.

Mrs. Colleen Rondon, the 8th grade, red pod science teacher had Julia as a student. “It was amazing,” she said. “How cool is it to have an

Olympic silver medalist in your class?”

Mrs. Rondon also explained how Julia was very devoted to her snowboarding. Julia had to miss school every Friday to snowboard in the Winter. “Her dad said that she showed lots of talent, and she was devoted,” Mrs. Rondon had said. “Other than that, she was a typical 8th grader.”

In a recent interview when Ms. Marino came back to BMS to talk about winning her Olympic medal, she found it hard to put her experience into words.

“It was the most surreal moment of my life,” Julia said. “It was crazy; it didn’t sink in for a while; it didn’t sink in until I got home and saw my family and everyone supporting me.”

“Honestly, the hardest part of the progression was the mental side of things. There were a lot of mental struggles and obstacles,” Julia had said. “Sometimes you can be mentally drained by the whole experience. The hardest part is staying focused and motivated.”

Julia is capable of doing double flips in the air. It’s amazing to watch, but what’s it feel like just floating in the air? What happens if you fall? What if you don’t land flat on your snowboard?

“I’ve gotten injured a few times. I’ve broken my ribs, my wrist, sprained my ankle, and done a bunch of things. But, you kind of build up to it. You have to get out of your comfort zone at some point and overcome the fears. It’s the hardest part. Sometimes you just want to step away from it, take the easier route, but sometimes you just have to push through.

“The thing is, these are things you know you’re capable of doing, but you’re just scared to do them, so you have to look at the situation realistically. ‘Yeah, I’m gonna feel a lot better once I’ve done this, since I know I can do it.’ ”

Since we already know that Julia has broken many bones and hurt herself a lot in training, what about that major fall in the Olympics?

(Julia fell in the Olympics to a big injury which forced her to resign, but she still won a silver medal before leaving)

“That was after slopestyle, after I got this silver medal, I had an injury. I overshot this jump and went straight to my tailbone on an icy landing,” Julia explained. “Just flying over, all the way past the bottom of the landing; it was pretty terrifying.”

Through the struggles and obstacles that we face, even if it’s something as simple as trying something new as a beginner, or as big as competing at the last moment in the Olympics or more, we must have people who support us. People who support us help us get through those obstacles, no matter how big the challenge.

“Honestly, I have so much support from everyone around me; just everyone in the town and the support. It’s really nice to see everyone here. Especially my friends and my family; I wouldn’t be here without them.”

No one would really be as strong as anyone would be now without motivational support. Sometimes we fall, but we get back up.
There’s always something that makes you just want to ‘step away from it’. In truth, you ‘just have to push through’, like Julia said.

To wrap things up, Julia had some advice and stuff to say for anybody who reads this article, or the kids who walk through Bedford, or even anybody beyond the boundaries of Westport.

“I didn’t put too much pressure on myself as a kid. My way to an approach was just to be relaxed. I just enjoyed my time as a kid and that kind of laid back the approach to help me out because I wasn’t super focused on one sport, or one time, or having all this pressure on one moment in my life.

I was just enjoying my time as a kid, and growing up. I think that helped me to be ready for today. I discovered what I truly like doing through many things.”