Going backward propelled freestyle skier Alex LaFleur forward as SVSEF’s Athlete of the Week. LaFleur, an eight-year member of the ski team, won his first overall title Saturday at the USSA Snowbowl Throwdown in Montana.
Five days before his 16th birthday, LaFleur executed a back full (a fully extended back flip with a 360 twist) to win the men’s title in single moguls at the Northern Division competition near Missoula.
“Winning my first overall title felt great! It is something I’ve had my eye on for the last couple years, so finally achieving it was incredible,” Alex said.
The Missoulian newspaper reported, “15-year-old Alex LaFleur and his 14-year-old teammate Luke Rizzo have been coming to the Missoula mogul competition from their home mountain in Sun Valley, Idaho, for the past four years. Both said Snowbowl is their favorite competition travel destination every winter.”
“You get to have a lot more fun and more time to concentrate because it isn’t quite as steep,” LaFleur told the Missoulian. Alex also finished fifth in the opening singles event and fifth in duals.
A sophomore at Community School, LaFleur has been working hard at refining his technique at the SVSEF-Community School Air Barn at Sagewillow Campus, which was equipped with a new air bag and tow-in ramp last summer thanks to the generosity of SVSEF supporters.
“He never tried a back flip until he hit the ramp and air bag,” said SVSEF Program Director Andy Ware. “I would like to think the training is paying off for the athletes who are fully engaged.”
Alex concurred, “It is really good to know that all my focus and hard work paid off in such an exciting way. As for what I attribute my win to, it is without question the new ramp in the barn. The back full that I’ve been obsessing over for the past several months came to fruition because of that outstanding training tool. Thank you to all that helped make the ramp a reality.”
Next up for Alex and his SVSEF teammates is the Sun Valley Freestyle Spectacular this weekend on Bald Mountain’s Roundhouse Slope. Mogul competition begins at 10:15 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Awards will follow each day at River Run Plaza.

Sun Valley Ski Education | Sun Valley Idaho
Alex LaFleur in action. Photo by Oliver Guy