There is a good reason why Jewish American snowboarder Seth Hill is known as “the dreidel”.
When he goes for a big jump, Mr Hill can manage what is known as a “1080” — three full revolutions in the air.
Mr Hill, 25, from Breckenridge, Colorado, is one of only eight male snowboarders to have received invitations to participate in the four 2014 Olympic Slopestyle selection events at the end of this year and early next year. Success in that competition will lead to a place in the US Olympic team.
Mr Hill, who grew up as a member of Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland, Oregan, and whose uncle is a rabbi, spent last summer travelling through Israel on a Birthright trip.
“My Birthright trip was one of the most spiritual and moving experiences of my life,” he said. “I can’t wait to go back to Israel. It was truly a life-changing event.
“But I am really excited to be included in these selection events. The opportunity to represent the United States at the Olympics would be an unbelievable honour, and I am going to work harder than ever to make it happen.”
Mr Hill is ranked 21st in the world on the World Snowboard Tour Rankings.
Dubbed “The People’s Champion” by many in the snowboarding community for his friendly demeanour and positive spirit, Mr Hill has more than 400,000 followers on GooglePlus.
Mr Hill made his first impact on the professional snowboaring world when he finished sixth in the Grand Prix Slopestyle in Mammoth Mountain in 2010. Last winter, he came in sixth in the Burton European Open and, in 2012, he was named Snowboarder Magazine’s Superpark Standout.