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THE MUZNY FAMILY TOOK A LEAP OF FAITH OVER THE PANDEMIC, AND FOR DAUGHTER, REESE, SHE FOUND HER PASSION… WELL, LEAPING.
Dr. Carrie and Victor Muzny put their lives on pause in The Woodlands and moved to Park City, Utah for a change of pace in 2020. The parents gladly accepted the challenge of running their booming dental practice remotely, in order to focus on family.
Park City is also home to the Utah Olympic Center; this facility allows elite winter sport athletes to train year-round. Thousands of tourists visit the facility every day, and it was here, that chance visit introduced Reese to the sport where she saw athletes performing multiple flips and twists while flying 30-50 feet into the air.
As an avid gymnast back in The Woodlands, she asked to give it a try.
"First, I love adrenaline," she said. "Growing up, my family loved to go skiing and with a background in flipping in gymnastics. It kind of came naturally. I just put the two together and went with it. I love the feeling of being that high in the air."
Mom, "covers her eyes", and dad "lives through me", Reese laughed.
It doesn't hurt that Reese is ultra-competitive and uber-athletic. She also balances volleyball, soccer, golf, track and cheerleading for the Warriors all while traveling to Utah to train in aerial ski jumping.
After that first encounter at the Olympic Center, Reese dropped into classes to check it out. She learned the basics of skiing the ramp and a basic jump. The second day, she impressed her instructors by asking if she could try a flip and sure enough she nailed it.
"The coaches told us that it is not uncommon for an athlete to train six months to do what Reese was doing in a week," Vic said. "After they saw her willingness to attempt these advanced jumps, she was invited to try out- and joined the Park City Ski and Snowboard Women's Aerial Team."
"Because Park City has the only Aerial Facility in the US, this is the only developmental team that produces aerial athletes that go on to the US National Ski Team and the Olympics."
"We thought she was late to the sport, but actually for aerials, it turned out she was really early. At first, Reese was very intimidated and self-conscious as a 13 year-old training and jumping alongside older athletes who were in their late teens and early 20s."
After training into a pool all summer, she was cleared to attempt her jumps on the less forgiving snow when winter rolled around. Eventually she gained her first experience by participating in two competitions where she really started to "dig in" with the sport.
"We asked her coaches if this is something we should really pursue, or if she had enough talent to continue with the sport. We didn't really know much about the sport," he said.
"Her coach was emphatically encouraging, even laying out a "road map" that was just a few years from competing in the world cup tour and eventually a possible Olympic birth as soon as the 2026 Olympic Games in Milan, Italy…Of course, that is if everything goes as planned."
It was a whirlwind season for Reese, but she was on the clock. Before all of this, as a family, the Muzny's committed to one and only one year full-time in Park City. They have a son Grant (13-years old), who was ready to get back to his buddies and Texas football. That was the deal… one year.
"It was truly the best year of my life, meeting new friends and skiing with this all the time," she said. "Our school even had early release, so we got to ski most days." She will return this winter and continue the pursuit of her goal.
"Of course, my dream is to make the Olympics someday," she said. "But I'm ready to compete. That's just my nature. I'm ready to get back up to Park City and practice. I'm really excited to travel to places like Canada and New York for competitions and have those experiences."
She will have to work around school and miss a few Warrior soccer games, but she knows the sacrifices it will take.
"It's a lot, but we will just figure it out. If you love something, you will always find time for it," she said.
HOUSTON – The opening day of the 2021 VYPE Holiday Invitational presented by Whataburger is going to be one to mark on your calendar.
On Tuesday, December 28, the opening round two rounds of the invitational will played with each of the 16 teams in the field playing in two games apiece in a bracket-style tournament.
In the Thorne Division, the opening games will be played at Aldine Davis High School. At 9 am, Atascocita will face Heights and Stratford takes on Fort Bend Austin. At 10:30 am, it will be Houston Christian versus Nimitz and Tompkins taking on Cy-Fair.
The winners of those games will go on to play at the Campbell Center at noon and 3 p.m.
On Wednesday, December 29, the two undefeated teams in the Thorne Division Bracket will play at 10:30 am for the Thorne Division Championship and a spot in the VYPE Holiday Invitational Grand Champion Game at 3 p.m. later that day at the Campbell Center.
In the Campbell Division, on Tuesday, Fort Bend Elkins will face Foster at 9 a.m. and Pearland Dawson takes on Westfield at 10:30 am inside the Campbell Center. Over at Aldine Davis High School, The Woodlands Christian Academy will face Klein Forest, while Crosby also faces Cy Park at noon.
The undefeated teams in this bracket will face each other on Wednesday, December 29, at 9 am at the Campbell Center with a spot in the Grand Champion game on the line.
This will be a must-attend holiday tournament in the City of Houston.