Torin Yater-Wallace is one of halfpipe's most talented young skiers, and he has the resume to prove it. He hit the scene swinging in 2011 when he claimed his first X Games medal (silver) at just 15 years of age.
By the age of 18 in 2013, the Aspen native had four X Games medals (including gold), won a stop of the Winter Dew Tour, the New Zealand Winter Games, multiple FIS World Cups and a silver at the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships in Oslo.
It's raw talent and the ability to do well under pressure that the coaches recognized in the 2014 season when they awarded Yater-Wallace a discretionary spot on the inaugural U.S. Olympic halfpipe team, despite being sidelined with an injury during the Olympic qualification series.
Yater-Wallace, an Olympic favorite going into the season, suffered a collapsed lung early in the series and spent most of the winter recovering and training to get strong for the last qualifiers. The down time paid off and he was healthy by the end of January. Although he didn’t have the finish he was looking for in Sochi, Yater-Wallace joined his teammates in representing the USA during his sport’s historic debut on the global stage.
Yater-Wallace had a podium tour in 2015, landing in the top three in four out of five contests he entered, including wins at the Dew Tour and World Ski Invitational. He even stepped out of the halfpipe to earn third at the Jon Olsson Big Air event in Sweden.
In November of 2015, however, the young skier's health hit another stumbling block. Diagnosed with Streptococcus anginosus, Yater-Wallace put up a remarkable fight against the life-threatening infection that affected his gall bladder, liver and lungs. After two weeks in the hospital (10 days in a medically-induced coma), 20 pounds of weight loss and two months off snow, Yater-Wallace clicked back into his skis on January 10, 2016. He took fifth at X Games Aspen just two weeks later and then went on to win gold at X Games Oslo one short month after that.
On Torin's best day, there are few in the world who can touch what the young American is capable of in the halfpipe. And, unfortunately for his competition, his best days often come during the biggest events. While his style of all-or-nothing riding may have tripped him up at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, know that Torin Yater-Wallace will be front and center at the upcoming Games in PyeongChang what he clearly pointed out by winning the Olympic test event in Phoenix Park back in February.