Mia Brookes wasn't old enough to compete at the Olympics last year, but she might be feeling OK with her consolation prize this week. On Monday, at Georgia's Bakuriani resort, the 16-year-old Brit took home the gold in the women's slopestyle at the Snowboard, Freestyle, and Freeski World Championships, claiming the UK's first snowboard slopestyle world title, as well as the title of youngest snowboarding champ in the world, per CNN. "I feel like I could cry," Mia told reporters after her win. "I've never been so happy in my life."
The move that clinched it for Mia, during her second run down the slopes: the complex CAB 1440 double grab, which the Guardian describes as an "extraordinarily difficult trick [that] involves taking off backwards before making four rotations in the air while also grabbing the board twice." Mia is the first female to ever land the move. "What the heck is going on here?!" an astounded announcer can be heard exclaiming after witnessing Brookes' winning run, which earned her a 91.38 score.
"I actually can’t believe [it]," she told GB Snowsport of her feat in pulling off the complicated maneuver. "What Mia's done out here today is just next level," adds Pat Sharples, head coach for the UK snowsports governing body. "We all know Mia's got the talent, but this is her first season on the WC circuit and her first World Championships, so to land a run like that with all the pressure ... tells you everything you need to know about her." Mia, who learned to snowboard when she was just a toddler, has her sights set next on the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy. (Read more snowboarding stories.)