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Jen Hudak is an American freeski athlete specializing in halfpipe skiing.Â She was born and raised in Hamden, Connecticut, but grew up skiing on weekends 3 hours north in Vermont. Always one for adventure, Jen learned to ski in her backyard- pulled uphill with a homemade rope tow that her dad proudly constructed. When the backyard mastery was achieved, Jen began spending more and more time at her home mountain, Okemo, in Ludlow, Vermont.
By the age of 11 Jen joined the freestyle team at Okemo, where her pastime quickly grew into her passion. This passion originated in moguls and through early competitions she began to climb the ranks. In 2001 Jen enrolledto Okemo Mountain School, so that she could take her skiing to the next level.Â It was at this point that Jen met her longtime coach Elana Chase.Â It was Chase who encouraged Jen to begin skiing in and competing in Halfpipe skiing as it served as a good supplement to mogul competition.Â Within that first season skiing halfpipe, Jen had found a new love.Â It was a new skill to learn and perfect, Jen is not one to take the easy road- she thrives on challenges, and halfpipe skiing provided just that.
In 2004 Jen found herself on the podium at her first major competition: The US Freeskiing Open. From there her pro skiing career quickly took off. Jen made a statement with her huge amplitude and solid style and proved that she would be around for years to come. Winning has only been part of the motivation for Jen- hardwork and a fierce passion for what she does allow her to find a way to the top, but overcoming obstacles and growing as a person has been more valuable to Jen than any medals that she has won.Through numerous injuries and industry challenges Jen always prevails.
Jen is now a 5 time X-Game medalist, winning 2 golds in X-Games in 2010 alone. She has won nearly every competition there is: X-Games, US Open, World Ski Invitational, Dew Tour, and US Nationals, to name a few. But one contest still eludes her: The Olympics. With ski halfpipe being such a young sport, it has yet to have its debut in the big show.Â As a participant in the first ever ski halfpipe World Cup in 2003, Jen had a vision that halfpipe skiing would be an Olympic sport.Â She has served as a proud advocate for the sport over the last decade and ski halfpipe will finally be premiering in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.Â Jen can now truly pursue her dream of becoming an Olympic athlete.Â Though the path may be harder than ever now with more and more women skiing halfpipe every year, the value of the pursuit grows exponentially.
Jen currently resides in Salt Lake City, UT with her dog Milo and two cats, Bella and Bucky.Â In the summer she spends a lot of time mountain biking and training at the US Ski Team facility in Park City, The Center of Excellence.Â Jen is currently studying Psychology and Business at the University of Utah.Â It is her greatest vision to help others realize their dreams, to encourage them through setbacks and obstacles and to leave the world a better place.