Riri Uchida's family had season passes to Ski Ward in Shrewsbury, where they'd quite often hit the slopes for a daying of skiing. Uchida quickly tired of skiing, but would eye the kids who were snowboarding. She wanted to try that, and she did. And she got really good at it.
At Copper Mountain in Colorado in April 1, Uchida placed ninth in the USASA National Championships in the slope-style category.
Uchida, who is 13, and attends eighth grade at the Melican Middle School, and competed against some 30 other girls in her age group category.
"I entered one last year," said Uchida, "and it was the same event, but I didn’t do that well last year."
Admittedly, Uchida agrees that it is rare to see girls snowboarding at the local parks. It never has deterred her.
"I went to Ski Ward six times a week this season," she said. "My parents got me into skiing when I was around 3, but I only started snowboarding a couple of years ago. I hope to keep going with it."
Uchida used to take part in gymnastics, but quit the sport to concentrate on her snowboarding skills.
"You always have room to learn new tricks," she said, "and it feels really good when you learn something new."
Not to be outdone by academics, Uchida presently maintains straight A's in school, science is her favorite subject, and she hopes to be "either a photographer or a dentist."
"I like photography a little better," she said, "and you can snowboard while you do it."