Troy Murphy was born in Biddeford in 1992 and attended Gould Academy in Bethel where his family now lives. In 2017 he qualified for the American freestyle ski team and competed in the moguls event at the winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. We caught up with Murphy as he returned to his home away from home in Park City, Utah, after competing in the U.S. Freestyle Championships in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. Associated Press photo by Kin Cheung

How did you get into skiing?

I grew up racing dirt bikes with my family, and one day the head of the Gould Academy Competition Program came riding with us. He figured that if I was looking for an adrenaline rush on the bike that I might be a good fit for freestyle, so he suggested that I try it for a weekend. I jumped into the program that winter and fell in love.

What do you like about mogul skiing?

To be good in moguls you have to be good at all aspects of skiing. You have to be super technical, fast, and a good jumper. I like it because it encompasses all aspects of the sport and is super challenging.

Can you describe a highlight from the Olympics?

On our qualification day I skied my first Olympic run, qualified for the finals in fourth place, and then got to walk with Team USA in the opening ceremonies. That was a pretty incredible day that I’ll never forget!

What kind of support have you received to pursue your skiing dreams?

It’s actually quite unbelievable how much support it’s taken to get to this level. From collecting bottles with my mom when I was young, applying for grants like the Dan Cardillo Charitable Fund, and finally running my own fundraisers in Bethel, the amount of people who’ve come together to help make my dream come true is overwhelming. I’m forever grateful for the support I’ve received from so many different folks. I feel very lucky to have such a generous community behind me!

You now live in Park City, Utah, and travel around the world competing. Do you get back to Maine much? What does being a Mainer mean?

I get back to Maine as often as possible, which lately has been about five times a year! Any of my teammates will tell you that I’m the biggest Maine fan there is, and am constantly hyping my home state. To me being a Mainer means that you’re a very genuine person who’s friendly, down to earth, and up for adventure!

Where are you right now?

I just got home to Park City for the first time since early February. Before this I was competing at Nationals in New Hampshire and then got to spend two days at home, at Sunday River and in the Portland area. Next I head to Alaska for a few weeks of freeskiing!

What are your plans for the future?

I’m looking forward to pursuing some of my goals in big mountain skiing while attending school, coaching the next generation of mogul skiers, and getting ready for the rest of life’s adventures!