Angel Collinson, 24, is one of the best skiers in the world, adored for her goofball personality and her incredibly fast, technically perfect turns on really big mountain faces. Growing up a stone’s throw from Utah’s Snowbird as the daughter of a ski patroller, Angel Collinson had a natural inclination towards the mountains. But to operate at her level requires more than just natural talent: it requires total dedication, and Angel has it in spades.
Angel and Ryan Hawks had a very meaningful relationship at the time of his passing in 2011. Angel has stayed in touch with the Hawks family as she journeys through life. Last month, she had the honor of being chosen to deliver the commencement address at the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy in Vail, Colorado. Read the full story at: Vail Daily News.
Turning to freeskiing after training as a racer, Angel won the Freeskiing World Tour in her rookie season, then followed it up by winning again the next season, just in case anyone had any doubts. Her burly big-mountain lines and groundbreaking video segments have earned her multiple awards and honors:
- First woman to win Best Line Award at Powder Magazine’s Powder Awards
- Two-time winner of Best Female Performance at the Powder Awards
- Two-time champion of the Freeskiing World Tour
- 2016 Powder Magazine Best Line
Angel was a regular on the Freeride World Tour podium. Her big mountain ski runs are featured by Teton Gravity Research (a premier video producer for adventure sports). Angel is sponsored on tour by Northface, Red Bull, Volkl skis and Smith Optics. She was recently featured in Outside Online as one of the 7 fittest female athletes.
Presenting Her Core Values
“Goal setting and work ethic are the most valuable set of skills,” Collinson told the VSSA grads at their 2017 Commencement. The biggest challenges and toughest things are what you’ll be most grateful for, Collinson said. “Learn to be present, even when life sucks. … You have to learn to roll with it,” she said. Collinson pointed out that even though she’s not that much older than the VSSA Class of 2017, she laid out a few things she has learned climbing up and skiing (or falling) down mountains.
- Humility: “Once you make a mistake, you have to admit that you made a mistake and learn from it. We take risks. Sometimes we succeed. Sometimes we don’t,” she said. She took a massive fall and the video went viral. Now, she’s the girl who tomahawks.
- Vulnerability: “It takes more strength to be vulnerable than it does to ski in any of our competitions,” she said.
- Kindness: “We don’t get through this life alone. When you’re down and out and injured and feel like snapping at someone, that’s when kindness needs to come out the most,” she said.
- Nurture your connections: “The top is only sweet if you have a community with you. If you claw your way up there, but you’re all alone, it’s a lonely place,” she said.