Road to the Winter Olympics: Meet Ty Walker

A snowboarder from Stowe, Vermont, hopes to secure a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, which would mark her second time on the Olympic stage.

Ty Walker, 20, has been a standout in slopestyle, which requires athletes to perform spins, flips, and other moves.

Walker has competed both on the World Cup circuit and on the United States' inaugural slopestyle team at the Winter Olympics in Sochi four years ago, when she was just 16.

"It's exciting to be part of the first-ever team for something," Walker said.

She is now hoping to return to the Pyeongchang Games.

NBC Boston was with her for a laidback ride in late December in her hometown, at Vermont's Stowe Mountain Resort.

"I love it up here," she said of the resort's trails. "Whenever I'm home, this is home."

After a pair of qualifying competitions out west this month, the sophomore pre-med student at Brown University in Rhode Island will learn if she'll represent New England at the upcoming Winter Games in South Korea.

"We find out about the Olympic team on Jan. 21," Walker said. "And the semester starts on Jan. 24. So if I don't make the team, I'm on the first flight to Providence. And if I do make the team, I have a couple of professors who have agreed to work with me, and I'll go to the Olympics and come back and start the semester a few weeks late."

In addition to slopestyle, Walker hopes to compete in a new Olympic snowboard event in Pyeongchang called "big air." Athletes will take off from a giant launch ramp that lets them fly higher and farther, allowing for more complicated tricks. They'll be judged on height, difficulty, style and the quality of their landings.

"Walking into the Opening Ceremonies is one of the most amazing things I'll ever do," Walker said, recalling the 2014 games.

She said 2016 was tough because of injuries, but said that she's back and optimistic she can achieve at the top levels in her sport — as she did when she won the big air World Cup in Turkey in 2015.

"It would mean a lot for me to prove that I can still go again," Walker said.

Walker is eager to ride from the Green Mountains, all the way to possible Olympic gold.

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