In 2016 and for the first time in history, the Association of Freeskiing Professional handed out AFP Overall Junior Championships with the women’s title going to Rachael Karker. The award was the culmination of an impressive 2015-16 season that also included the AFP Women’s Halfpipe Junior title, the 2016 Canada Cup award, and finishing third overall in the NorAm halfpipe standings.
The journey to the top of the overall rankings has been a steady incline for Karker who has only been competing in freeskiing for a few years now. Karker first learned to ski at the age of two in Ontario and was eventually placed in race programs with her brothers. She left the sport at the age of 10 to compete in artistic gymnastics and later focused on trampoline – a skill that would prove to be useful in the future.
At 14, Karker was introduced to park skiing thanks to one of her brothers, Austin, and fell in love with the sport taking up competitive slopestyle skiing three years ago and halfpipe two years ago.
Karker competed at the local club at Blue Mountain before moving on to the Ontario Provincial Team where she has been competing for the last few years with the FSO Ontario Park and Pipe Academy under the tutelage of head coach Patrick Walsh and Freestyle Skiing Ontario.
In 2016, Karker was named to the inaugural Park & Pipe NextGen Team