Mitch got his first snowboard for Christmas when he was eight years old and a year later he’d won his first competition. Buoyed by his first taste of victory – “I loved that feeling and wanted to keep chasing it after that” – he took the advice of his coaches at Auckland’s Snowplanet and made the trip south to compete at Junior Nationals, held at Cardrona. “I came 2nd or 3rd but really wanted to win!” he remembers. And from there it was game on. “After that I wanted to get better so I could come back and win the next year. " Fast forward to 2020 and Mitch has been selected to the NZ team for the Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Disciplines: Big Air, Slopestyle
Career highlights: Winning World Rookie Tour Slopestyle Finals, Kaprun, Austria, 2019; Competing at Big Air World Cup, Modena, Italy 2018
Fast forward to 2018 and Mitch – or “Steeze McGeez” – has been enjoying his first taste of World Cup competition, competing in Big Air at the NZ Park and Pipe team’s home resort, Cardrona, during the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, followed by the Big Air World Cup in Modena, Italy, an experience which he includes as one of his career highlights so far.
Mitch capped off the 2018-19 season by winning the World Rookie Tour Slopestyle Finals in Kaprun, Austria. The Tour is designed to develop and showcase the talents of young riders and involved 1100 snowboarders from 35 different nations. Only the best of the best earn the right to compete in the Tour Finals, and it was here that Mitch was crowned World Rookie Slopestyle Champion. Mitch also competes in Snowboard Big Air and achieved an impressive fifth place at the FIS Junior World Championships in Sweden the same month. During the NZ winter Mitch was on strong form, making the 2019 Winter Games ANC Slopestyle finals as the top qualifier and going on to finish seventh in the finals.
“Having the support of my family and friends has definitely helped me get to where I am now,” says Mitch. In fact, he has his older brother to thank for getting him to snowboarding – “I decided to switch from skiing to snowboarding as I thought it was real cool because my older brother did it.”
Check out more of Mitch's FIS results here and follow him on social media.