Just days after rounding off a dream year of snowboarding, the sport’s youngest ever world champion was back training in the Swiss Alps.
That is where 16-year-old Mia Brookes and her family headed just days after she lifted the BBC young sports personality of the year trophy.
Proud mum and dad Vicky and Nigel were in the audience, along with grandmother Tina Dick, all of Sandbach, to see her being presented with the trophy during the awards ceremony at Media City, Salford, last Tuesday.
The teenager, who attends Sandbach High School, became the youngest world champion in snowboarding – and Britain’s first in slopestyle – when she won gold in February a month after turning 16. It was the first world competition for which she was eligible.
And it was there that she achieved the unforgettable Cab 1440 – a highly complicated four-rotation 1440 switch named after legendary skateboarder Steve Caballero – and which earned her a winning 91.38 score.
Ms Brookes started snowboarding aged 18 months at Kidsgrove Ski Centre, where her later grandfather David Dick was a ski instructor.
After receiving the trophy from paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds and Arsenal and England footballer Leah Williamson last Tuesday night, Ms Brookes was asked by presenter Alex Scott how she was feeling after being crowned the youngest snowboarding champion in world history “all at the age of 16”.
Ms Brookes replied: “It’s one of my biggest dreams!”
She said she was glad she’d finished her GCSEs and had no homework anymore. She said she was now setting her sights on winning a gold at the winter Olympics in 2026 in Italy.
She thanked her parents, GB Snowsport and all her coaches and sponsors, adding: “I can’t thank everyone enough.”
Speaking to the “Chronicle” from Switzerland on Friday, mum Vicky said that seeing her daughter lift the BBC young sports personality of the year trophy had rounded off an “amazing and incredible” year.
“The last couple of years or so have been some journey. As Ms Brookes has progressed with her training and in competition there’s been covid, we decided to base ourselves in Switzerland and then she needed to juggle things round to complete her GCSEs,” said Mrs Brookes.
“She has gone in so hard with it all and we know if Ms Brookes wants to continue, we’ve got to support her.”
Of last Tuesday’s awards success at Media City, Mrs Brookes said: “It was amazing; so cool.
For Ms Brookes just to be shortlisted was amazing but for her to go on and win it was phenomenal!
“It was also a nice change for the family to be together like that instead of being at the top of a competition run! It was nice to be able to dress up for the night and to meet top athletes.”
She described how Ms Brookes did not let jet leg get in the way of such a memorable occasion.
She had only arrived back from the US the previous day after competing in Colorado where she won the overall freestyle snowboard World Cup Big Air title by securing third place.
Before that she had competed in Beijing and Canada.
“Ms Brookes had come back from America on a high and the following night we were heading from Sandbach to Media City,” said her mum.
She added: “It was lovely that her gran was with us, too. With all Ms Brookes ’s success, it was nice to have that family connection at the awards ceremony.”
The Brookes are based in the Swiss ski resort of Laax where they were spending the festive period.
“It will definitely be a relaxing Christmas, but Ms Brookes will be snowboarding as well,” said her mum. “She’s straight back into competition on 15th January, when it all starts again.”
Ms Brookes returns to Colarado, for the X Games in Aspen, followed by the next competition in Calgary, Canada.
Mrs Brookes said: “It’s all looking good for the year ahead!”