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Youngest skier to ever join Canada's freestyle team is from Oro-Medonte

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Oro-Medonte is home to one of Canada's rising stars in freestyle skiing, who happens to be the youngest to join the national team at 14 years old.

Charlie Beatty not only took gold at his first NorAm ski event but also beat some of his Olympian idols to do it.

"I've been dreaming of being on this team competing for my country since I started skiing. So to be finally here, it's really cool to be a part of it and skiing with the guys I grew up looking up to," Charlie said.

Charlie Beatty (C) stands on the podium at Copper Mountain in Colorado where he won his first NorAm event. (Supplied)

"I strongly believe Charlie Beatty is the future of freestyle skiing and will be representing Canada at the Olympics one day," said Team Canada Coach Geoff Lovelace.

"It's surreal, really," his mom, Paula Beech, said. "We have watched him since the age of two ski at this hill at Horseshoe Resort."

But Charlie's rise has come with sacrifices, including giving up hockey.

"It was hard for sure, especially at a young age, trying to figure out what I want to do, and I knew whatever I chose, I would be doing it for a long time, so it was hard to kind of think of the long run too," Charlie said.

Charlie Beatty, 14, beside his mom, Paula Beech, at Horseshoe Resort on Tues., March 14, 2023. (CTV News/Ian Duffy)

Swapping his hockey skates for skis was only the first change.

From homeschooling to the tens of thousands of dollars his unpaid dream costs each year, it's taken a community to get him to this point.

"They've really supported my career and my family and my friends and my parents. They've helped out a lot. I definitely wouldn't be here if it wasn't for all these people," Charlie said.

Despite his early success, Charlie likes to volunteer at amateur ski events to help grow the sport.

And the teen continues to dream big, with hopes of one day hearing announcers calling his name at the X games and the Olympics.

Follow Charlie's journey on his Instagram page.

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