Tag Archives: Julia Marino

Celebrate Julia Marino This Saturday

She just got back from South Korea. She heads out soon to her next competition.

But Julia Marino — Westport’s US Olympic snowboard team star — will be in Westport this weekend.

So let’s party!

Daly Method — the chiropractic, sports rehabilitation and wellness center at 272 Post Road East, opposite the Playhouse Square shopping center — is hosting a “meet and greet” with and for Julia this Saturday (March 3, 4-6 p.m.).

Everyone is invited.

Come as you are. But if you’ve got red, white and blue — wear it with pride!

Julia Marino

Julia Marino: The Deadspin Spin

The 2018 Winter Olympics are over.

Julia Marino — Westport’s favorite snowboarder Olympic competitor of all time – – is headed home. She did not win a medal.

There’s no shame in that. Most Olympic athletes don’t.

But she had quite an experience. And if she had won a medal, Hannah Keyser would have had quite a story.

Hannah is a writer/producer for Deadspin. Deadspin is a sports website with a decidedly un-Sports Illustrated/ESPN take on athletics. It’s a site that has taken off rose-colored glasses, then ingested a ton of edibles.

Hannah met Julia’s parents — John and Elaine — early in PyeongChang. She decided to stick with them. If Julia did well, Hannah would have a fantastic, first-person, up-close-and-personal story to write.

Instead, she wrote about what’s it like to be an “ordinary” Olympian — if there is any such thing.

Hannah writes with grace and honesty about Julia’s life and career. She notes:

Julia is a pretty white girl from Connecticut with likable and supportive parents who work white-collar jobs and just wanted to see their daughter do what she loves. At 20 years old, she’s generous and well-spoken, an advocate for the sport more than for herself. She is, in other words, your average winter Olympian—a group of nearly 3,000 people who are only average when they’re all together.

It’s an intriguing piece, remarkable in its unremarkableness. Click here for the full story.

Read it. Enjoy it. And then, welcome Julia Marino — Westport’s Olympic hero — home.

Julia Marino

Julia Marino Goes For Gold

First there was wind.

Then came the flu.

But after fighting off a disappointing fall in the slopestyle competition, and illness last week, Julia Marino is close to her longtime dream: an Olympic medal.

The Westport snowboarder was 2nd after her first big air run yesterday, then finished 9th overall in qualifying competition. That earned her one of 12 spots in Thursday’s final.

Julia’s jumps — shown around the world — were preceded a day earlier by a special NBC report on her long friendship with Chaihyun Kim. Their journey together began at Long Lots Elementary School, and ended in South Korea.

Click here to see that heartwarming report.

A screengrab from the NBC report shows Julia Marino and Chai Kim reuniting at the Seoul airport.

(Hat tip: Sharon and John Miller)

Julia Marino’s NBC Airings

Last month, “06880” described the heartwarming friendship between Julia Marino and Chaihyun Kim.

They met in Long Lots Elementary School kindergarten, and for the next 3 years were inseparable.

They went their separate ways later, as kids do. But — as Julia became a US Olympic team snowboarder, and Chai a pre-med student at Yale University — their friendship endured.

Chai and Julia, age 6.

As Julia got ready to head to PyeongChang for the Winter Games, Chai and her family used their South Korean contacts to help Julia’s family find lodging and tickets.

It’s exactly the type of story NBC loves. Many Olympic viewers are casual — or even non — sports fans. By showcasing athletes’ back stories, the network hopes those viewers will be drawn into the drama of sports.

Area residents can tune in at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, February 17, WNBC-TV Channel 4) for Julia and Chai’s story on “The Olympic Zone.” NBC stations around the country will also air the show; check local listings for time.

That segment should whet viewers’ appetites for Julia’s big air competition. It begins Monday (Sunday, US time).

(Hat tips: Sharon and John Miller)

Julia Marino

Julia Marino: She’s Always Done It Her Way

Westport is justly proud of Julia Marino. Now — thanks to NBC Sports — the rest of the country knows why.

The network has given a shout-out to the Olympic snowboarder — and her family — in a widely viewed video.

She was interviewed, along with her parents John and Elaine, and sister Cece. Though her hometown was never mentioned, NBC showed clips of her riding her bike, trampolining, and at the beach.

The theme of the video was that Julia’s parents gave her a chance to take risks, dare and dream — in a “relatively safe environment.” For example, she was allowed to ride her scooter in the house (though other parents could not believe that was okay).

“She’s always done it her way,” Elaine says.

This weekend, Julia fell on her first slopestyle run. She was not alone: 41 of 50 athletes did the same. A controversy ensued over the wisdom of allowing the event to be held in high winds.

She finished 6th overall.

Next up: the big air event, next Sunday.

(Click here to see the full NBC Sports video. Hat tip: Kathie Bennewitz)

Julia And Chai’s Olympic Story

The other day, “06880” reported that Julia Marino made the US Olympic snowboard team. In a few days, she heads to PyeongChang, South Korea.

Yet there’s more to the story than just excitement that a Westporter has a chance for international stardom.

A decade and a half ago, Julia and Chaihyun Kim met on the first day of Long Lots Elementary School kindergarten. Chai had just moved to the US, with her mother and 2 sisters. She did not speak a word of English.

But she and Julia became best friends. For the next 3 years, they were inseparable. Chai’s mother worked every Saturday at a dry cleaner, so Julia’s mother Elaine picked Chai up. They played in soccer and basketball leagues, and in their spare time did whatever little kids do.

Chai and Julia, age 6.

Chai moved to Wilton from age 9 to 11, but came back to attend Bedford Middle School and Staples High. She graduated in 2015, and is now a pre-med junior at Yale University.

Julia attended St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, and traveled far and wide on the snowboard tour. But the girls kept in touch.

In December 2016, Elaine ran into Chai. The proud mother mentioned that Julia might qualify for the Olympics.

Julia Marino heads to the Olympics

Chai said that her father still lives in Seoul. She said her family would be happy to help with Olympic planning.

They sure did. In May — through the Korean-resident lottery — they got Elaine’s family tickets to the opening ceremony and Julia’s events, a savings of at least $2,000.

Over the summer, Chai’s family traveled to PyeongChang to film several lodging options. The Marinos had worried it would be difficult to house their large group of relatives and friends in one location. The videos confirmed it.

So Chai’s father spoke with a friend who owns 2 vacation apartments in Gangneung. They’d never rented them to anyone — let alone to foreigners — but thanks to Mr. Kim, the Marinos are leasing both modern 3-bedroom, 2-bath apartments.

Chai Kim

They know what they look like too, because Chai filmed last summer, when she was in South Korea.

Mr. Kim drafted a rental agreement, and translated it into English. He also arranged all their transportation in South Korea.

The Marinos reimbursed him — and bought tickets for Chai and him to attend Julia’s events. “It’s the least we could do!” Elaine says.

So next month Elaine, 5 aunts, 3 uncles, 5 cousins and Julia’s sister Cece head to to the Olympics.

This may not qualify as one of NBC’s famous “Up Close and Personal” Olympic stories.

But for the Marino family, South Korea is a journey they could never make alone.

BONUS NEWSLast weekend at the X Games, Julia won a silver medal in slopestyle.

Julia Marino Snowboards To Korea

The Winter Olympics just got a bit more interesting for Westport.

Westport resident Julia Marino will represent the US — and us — next month in PyeongChang. The 20-year-old nailed down one of 4 spots on the air and slopestyle snowboard team.

Julia has come on strong, medaling in 3 of the 5 Olympic qualifying meets. Her performance at the Toyota Grand Prix in California solidified her status — and confirmed her as a top contender in Korea.

Julia Marino, on NBC Sports.

Julia began snowboarding only 6 years ago. Her first national notice came in February 2016, at a World Cup stop at Fenway Park. Since then she’s won gold, silver and bronze at the X Games.

Julia’s parents — and a dozen other relatives and friends — will cheer her on in PyeongChang.

The rest of us will be watching very closely, half a world away.

(Hat tip: Carolyn Cohen)


Julia Marino: X Marks The Spot

On Thursday night, Julia Marino — the greatest snowboarder in Westport history — earned a medal at her 1st-ever X Games, in Aspen.

She finished 3rd in big air (going over one super-huge jump — duh).

Julia Marino

Julia Marino

Today, she competes in slopestyle. (Racing down a course with a variety of obstacles — rails, jumps, that sort of stuff. Points are scored for amplitude, originality and quality of tricks. But you knew that.)

The competition is televised live on ABC. The fun begins at 3:15 p.m. EST.

(Click here for a video of Julia’s bronze medal performance on Thursday.)

Julia Marino Gets Fenway Air

It’s one thing to win a World Series game at Fenway Park. The Red Sox have done it several times.

But to conquer a 140-foot-tall, 430-foot long snowboard jump to win the women’s Big Air competition at Fenway — well, only Julia Marino has done that.

The 18-year-old Westporter wowed the Boston crowd last night — and a national NBC Sports audience — with her very impressive 3-jump, 169.25-point performance.

Julia Marino, on NBC Sports last night.

Julia Marino, on NBC Sports last night.

NBC’s announcers were gushing in their praise. Male or female — Marino was very impressive, they said.

It was her 1st time ever in Fenway. She arrived late, not knowing until the night before that she’d be competing.

“I was so stoked,’’ she said. “I was so happy actually to be able to put down my runs and win. This is an amazing place to have a snowboarding contest. It’s definitely the coolest, most creative place to have a contest because it’s so unique. There’s never been anything like this. It’s just a big jump in the middle of a baseball stadium and that’s pretty cool to say.’’

Julia Marino soars high above Fenway Park.

Julia Marino soars high above Fenway Park.

Next up: Quebec Big Air.

And after that: Perhaps the 2018 Winter Olympics, in Korea.

(Click here for an NBC Sports video of Marino’s performance. Click here for the Boston Globe story.)

Julia Marino Makes Her Snowboard Mark

In the fall, Westport’s Julia Marino travels every day to St. Joseph High School in Trumbull. She’s on the soccer team; this year, as a junior, she helped the Cadets to a 22-0-1 record, and the state championship.

In mid-November, she heads to Colorado with her father, John. She is a (very) competitive snowboarder for the Ski & Snowboard Club of Vail. She has top-quality coaches, and 2 tutors: one for English and French, the other for math and chemistry.

In the spring she returns to Connecticut, and takes online classes. It would be tough to catch up at St. Joe’s, she says.

That demanding schedule pays off. On Saturday in Switzerland, Julia placed 4th in the prestigious Burton European Open. It was Julia’s 1st 6-star event — the highest ranking possible.

Julia loves the creativity and independence of snowboarding, and hopes to earn an Olympic spot. She started competing later than many others for next month’s games, so she did not have enough points to qualify.

So as every snowboarder in the world is thinking about Sochi, Julia is looking ahead. The 2018 Games are in Pyeonchang, South Korea (who knew?).

It’s a long way from Westport, Vail and Switzerland. But it’s where Julia wants to be.