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One Line Description
They came from backwoods jumps of Montana to compete on freestyle skiing's biggest stage.
Long Line Description
They came from the backwoods jumps of Montana to stand with the world's best on freestyle skiing's biggest stage.
When he was 16 years old, Eric Bergoust jumped off a two-story chimney at his home in rural Montana. Soon, he would hurl himself into the air on a pair of skis, rather than off buildings. Bergoust was among several Montana skiers who gathered at Snowbowl Ski Area in Missoula for an impromptu mogul competition in 1986, an event that marked the beginning of a new era of sport in Big Sky Country. For the following thirty years, Montanans would make an indelible mark on the world of freestyle skiing, a thrilling mix of acrobatic tricks, speed, and jumps.
Montana freestyle skiers are the mavericks of the sport. Often without the financial means of their resort-based peers, passionate young athletes from blue-collar backgrounds in industrial and ranching towns like Missoula, Butte and Bozeman are largely self-taught, and have achieved success through sheer determination. Soaring hopes are often followed by crushing setbacks, and sometimes, redemption. During the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Missoula’s Eric Bergoust won the Olympic gold medal and set a world record for aerials while skiing with broken ribs. A dozen years later, Butte’s Bryon Wilson took home the Bronze for his extraordinary mogul performance in Vancouver, Canada.
Derived from thrilling World Cup & Olympic competitions, compelling home videos and original cinematography, Mavericks tells the fascinating, timeless story of Montana’s untold freestyle legacy, through the struggles, victories, and journeys of some of the state’s most renowned skiers, as they share a common bond that is the unbreakable Montana spirit.
Kelly Gorham: Kelly Gorham was one of the original Montana freestyle skiers and member of the 1989 Junior National team. Gorham has chronicled freestyle skiing in Montana since the 1980’s and has spent the past 25 years working as a photojournalist. His photos have been featured in such notable media as Sports Illustrated, ESPN, the New York Times and National Geographic publications. Gorham is presently the Director of Visual Media for Montana State University.
Aaron Pruitt: A native of Bozeman, MT, Aaron Pruitt has served MontanaPBS in leadership roles for over 20 years, working in programming, production and management. He is the Executive Producer for many award-winning MontanaPBS productions including 11th & Grant with Eric Funk, Class C: The Only Game in Town, Fort Peck Dam and C.M. Russell and the American West. Pruitt collaborates with independent filmmakers distributing programs to national PBS, including Wolves in Paradise (PBS PLUS) and two PBS INDEPENDENT LENS documentaries, Butte America and Indian Relay. Pruitt is the interim Director & General Manager of KUSM-TV/MontanaPBS.
Scott Sterling: Scott hails from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, where exposure to the outdoors, technology, and culture inspired a passion for visual art and storytelling. His life-long involvement with skiing and mountain sports inspired a deep affection for winter and everything that comes with it. Sterling is the Director of Production for KUSM-TV | MontanaPBS, bringing award winning films to the people of Montana and beyond. He also works as a freelance colorist, with recent work airing on The National Geographic Channel, The History Channel, Smithsonian Earth and Independent Lens on PBS. Scott has earned seven Emmy® Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences - Northwest Chapter, and revels in the juxtaposition of art and technology that is contemporary filmmaking.