Athletes of the Year

USADSF is thrilled to recognize both Lauren and Blair for their passion, commitment and contribution to their sports, as well for their success in 2015.

Lauren Weibert

Lauren Weibert

Lauren Weibert learned to snowboard at age 13 during a family ski trip to Heavenly in Lake Tahoe. While growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, she entered local and national competitions, where she often found herself on the podium, winning awards for her excellence in snowboarding. In December 2013, Lauren tore her knee, which caused her to miss the tryouts for the US Team to the Deaflympics. Once Lauren was cleared to ride after her surgery, in February 2014 she made a video to show her skills and hoped to be reconsidered. Lauren recalls that her knee was very sore when she made that video, but she pressed through and got it done. Thanks to her endurance to recover from her injuries, Lauren was delighted to be selected to represent the USA at the 18th Winter Deaflympics. Lauren’s goal was to win the Gold medal in Slopestyle Snowboarding, and she was able to achieve that as well as taking away a Silver medal in Boardercross. Both medals were an amazing feat as she had never done Boardercross before!

Blair Esson

Blair Esson

Blair Esson credits his snowboarding skills to his brother, Sean. They both started snowboarding at young ages, Blair at age 5, in Loomis, CA. Blair has been doing competitions in HalfPipe, Slopestyle Snowboarding, and Boardercross since he was 12 years old because these events inspired him to achieve his dream of becoming the first Deaf professional snowboarder. Blair was the leading slalom and giant slalom racer on the Truckee High school snowboarding team in Winter 2012. Working at Boreal Resort helped keep him on the slopes and practicing, which paid off as Blair and his brother were selected to represent the USA at the 18th Winter Deaflympics. Blair came away with a Gold medal in Slopestyle, a Gold medal in the Half Pipe and a Silver medal in the Boardercross event.

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