Julia “Jules” Marino is an American snowboarder competing in women’s slopestyle and big air at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Marino, 20, is making her Olympic debut in South Korea. She is one of the top snowboarders on the professional tour and, according to TeamUSA.org, she could be the next big thing.
“It’s cool to hear it. It’s definitely a goal of mine to be the best I can and to get my name out there,” she said. “This year that’s been happening to me, and it’s inspiring and motivating to me to make the best I can out of it.”
Marino will be competing alongside fellow American Jamie Anderson, the gold medalist at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in slopestyle. Jessika Jenson and Hailey Langland round out Team USA’s slopestyle and big air squads.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Marino Is From Westport, Connecticut, & Was a State Champion Soccer Player Before Leaving the School to Turn Pro Before She Turned 18
Jules Marino was born and raised in Westport, Connecticut, a shoreline town on Fairfield County along Long Island Sound. She has been competing as a snowboarder since she was 12, but she told TeamUSA.org that her first love was actually skiing. She wasn’t a fan of snowboarding, which she first tried when she was 8, but a broken ski a few years later when she was 13 and on a family trip in Colorado changed that.
“Dad said he wouldn’t rent more skis because I had a perfectly good snowboard,” she said. “I was really mad because I had to spend the rest of the vacation on a snowboard.”
Her father, John Marino, a financial advisor, told the Hartford Courant, “She grumbled and wasn’t too happy about it.” Julia said, “After a couple of days, I really began to enjoy it, though.”
Marino was always a daredevil and liked to climb and explore, her parents told the Courant. On the first day of kindergarten, her parents got a call to say that she had somehow scaled a wall.
“The principal said, ‘We don’t know how she did it, and we don’t think adults could do it,” John Marino told the Courant. “But if you could just please tell her not to do that again, we’d appreciate it.’”
Marino, who has a sister, Cece, was also a soccer player growing up and played for three years at St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, Connecticut. Her team won the state championship in 2013.
“She was a great competitor,” her coach there, Jack Nogueira, told the Westport News. “She was fearless at soccer so I think it translated with snowboarding.”
While at St. Joseph, she would spend the first semester attending classes like every other student. Then during the second semester, she would submit her assignments online while training in Colorado and Utah, according to the Westport News. She eventually left the school during her junior year and finished high school through an online program to focus …read more