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Md. Boy, Family Move To Vt. To Pursue Snowboarding

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JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT/AFP/Getty Images

JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT/AFP/Getty Images

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BLAIR AMES
The Frederick News-Post

MONROVIA, Md. (AP) — Griffin MacFadyen is used to being on the move. Whether it be gliding down a mountain at 50 mph on his snowboard or traveling cross-country for a competition, the 9-year-old is used to moving, usually fast.

Griffin’s next move isn’t going to be as fast since it includes a nine-hour drive to Wilmington, Vt.

Griffin, a successful snowboarder in the USA Snowboard Association (USASA) Appalachian series, is moving to Vermont with his family to further pursue his love of snowboarding.

The family recently sold their Monrovia home to relocate to Vermont and live within five minutes of Mount Snow, a premier mountain for snowboarders in southern Vermont.

“This is really the place to be if you want to go down this path,” said Griffin’s mother, Donna MacFadyen.

MacFadyen said the mountains in Vermont are more challenging and have a reputation as being the home of professional snowboarders.

Griffin, who’s been snowboarding since 2008, said one day he would like to be a professional snowboarder.

It’s the sense of flying that he enjoys most about hitting the slopes.

“It feels like you’re flying like an eagle,” he said.

Griffin got his start in snowboarding during a family trip to Ski Liberty in Carroll Valley, Pa.

The family originally went for a day of tubing, but after watching the snowboarders fly down the mountain, Griffin was hooked.

He’s been the one flying down mountains a lot this past season, competing just about every weekend from November through March, according to his mother.

Griffin and his sister, Grace, said the travel is hard because they have to leave the family dog, an English bulldog named Ollie, but they enjoy meeting new people.

“I wish I could stay home and bring the mountain to me,” Griffin said.

He will have the opportunity to do just that in Vermont, living a mere five minutes from the mountain.

Living in Monrovia, the MacFadyens lived about 45 minutes to an hour away from Liberty Mountain or Whitetail Resort, where MacFadyen would take Griffin just about every day after school to snowboard.

MacFadyen said her family had gotten used to all the travel, but there will be a lot less of that in Vermont.

“We got used to packing and unpacking, we had a system,” she said.

MacFadyen said it has been hard to say goodbye to friends, but some changes in her husband’s business created an opportunity for the family to move.

Griffin has had a successful start to his snowboarding career, notching four first-place finishes this season to go along with numerous other top five finishes. He’s been traveling across the country to compete for the past three years.

His success has sponsors taking notice.

He is sponsored by K2 Snowboarding, Volcom, and Electric Visual. Sponsors provide him with much of his equipment, including boards, clothing, goggles and helmets.

While Griffin is well-known on the slopes, what he is known as is a different story.

The USASA lists his nicknames online as G-Unit, G-Money, G-Dog and G.

But Griffin also goes by G-Mac, Lil’ Shred, Griff and G-Man, he said.

He will be making a name for himself if he can attain his goal for the upcoming season since he will be one of the younger competitors in the menehune division for 10- through 12-year-olds.

“I want to win everything in my series,” Griffin said.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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