Skiing

Liam Byrd Awarded Freestyle Scholarship

Eleven-year-old Coram resident named recipient of third annual scholarship sponsored by Olympian Maggie Voisin

By Micah Drew
Liam Byrd catches air on the jump hill at Whitefish Mountain Resort on Jan. 18, 2020. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Whitefish native and two-time Olympian Maggie Voisin announced Coram resident Liam Byrd as the winner of her third annual Freestyle Scholarship for the 2021-2022 winter season.

In her announcement letter on March 27, Voisin praised Byrd’s application letter for standing out.

“I could tell you really enjoy the thrill of working hard, pushing yourself to learn new tricks, and to compete at your very best,” Voisin wrote. “I could also feel the gratitude in your words, ad that is one of the most important traits to have while participating in the sport.”

Byrd is coached by Trevor Hattabaugh and competes in the U.S. Ski Snowboard and Freeski Associations’s Inland Northwest Freeride Series in Slopestyle and Rail Jam Events.

Along with the rest of his family of skiers — his two sisters are also competitive freeskiers — Byrd loves being out on Big Mountain during powder days.

“Every powder morning, you ski down and you’re either happy, or you’re extremely happy,” Liam said in a Flathead Living story about his family this winter.

Voisin was born and raised in Whitefish and is an alumnus of the Whitefish Mountain Resort Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Team.

A current member of the U.S. Freeski team and two-time Olympian who finished fourth in women’s slopestyle at the 2018 Winter Games, Voisin has seven career X games medals to her name, including two golds.

Following the 2019-20 season that included three X Games medals and five consecutive podium finishes, U.S. Ski and Snowboard named Voisin the “Freeskiing Athlete of the Year” for 2020.

Voisin began the freestyle scholarship, which covers an athlete’s fees for joining the Whitefish Mountain Resort Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Team as well as a season pass, in 2019, and selects the winner based on the application that best portrays passion for the sport.  

“Your letter very much reminded me of my younger self, while I was working hard and having fun to keep progressing,” Voisin wrote. “I am looking forward to hearing about all your success in the future and, once again, I encourage you to always keep having fun on your skis.”

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.