Ski Cross — Targeting Beijing 2022
2021 Crystal Globe (World Cup Overall Winner)
2021 Alpine Canada Athlete of the Year
2021 Red Bull Super Skicross Winner
2021 FIS Ski Cross Rookie of the Year
2016 Youth Olympic Games Gold Medalist
Social Followers: Instagram, 2,800
Hometown: Cultus Lake, British Columbia
"Reece is going to win this race."
After his son finished fourth in qualifying, it was a premonition from his dad Alex at the Nakiska World Cup that kickstarted Reece Howden's impressive rise to the top of the world rankings making him an early podium favourite for Beijing 2022.
Back in January 2020, Reece was balancing ski cross and his studies at the Southern Alberta Institue of Technology in Calgary searching for an opportunity to break into the World Cup Tour.
Nakiska was it.
In just his ninth World Cup Race, Reece became the first Canadian on the men's ski cross team to win on home snow in Alberta – vaulting him from 26 to 15 in the world rankings and assuring him his first full-time season on the tour.
What happened next, not even his dad could've predicted.
Reece started the 2020-21 season with a silver and gold in Val Thorens, France and followed with back-to-back World Cup wins in Idre, Sweden.
Another silver in Reiteralm, Austria.
Followed by his fourth win in Sunny Valley, Russia.
And then a season-ending win in the most dramatic finish of the year at the Red Bull Superskicross in Andermatt, Switzerland where he edged France's Jean-Frederic Chapuis by an inch.
Other than that, there weren't a lot of close calls for Reece in one of the most dominant seasons in the history of the sport:
Four World Cup wins.
Red Bull Superskicross gold.
FIS Rookie of the Year.
Alpine Canada Athlete of the Year.
FIS Crystal Globe.
At just 22, he's gained a career-worth of competition confidence over the past year and has had to rethink his goals leading into the Olympic season.
For inspiration, he'll draw on his experience at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway in 2016 where he won the Ski Cross gold medal for Canada.
For now, as one of the podium favourites for Beijing 2022, he'll continue to keep things simple, trust his ability, and stay present.
And leave the prognostications to his dad.