Michelle Parker

DON’t Call HER Mac

Michelle Parker was born with two teeth. Maybe it’s just a fun fact. But if you listen to certain folklore, it has deeper meanings. In Malaysia, it is said to predict good fortune; in some ancient European lore, it meant the child would become a great leader. But Michelle’s mother LouAnne’s summary of these superstitions is simpler: “Somewhere I heard people born with teeth go on to do big things.”

The line below Michelle is certainly big, a twisted spine, falling a few thousand feet to the pickup zone below. It’s April of 2015, and she’s crouched on top of a run called Bellringer in Haines, AK, peering over the edge from a tiny ledge. A few months earlier in the winter, she had turned down the opportunity to ski the line. Yet a few minutes ago she stepped eagerly from a helicopter onto this small perch. Now her only way down is the 50-degree face below.

Michelle’s path has not been an easy one. Alongside the medals and video segments, over the past decade she’s incurred multiple knee injuries, suffered through the deaths of close friends, and fought through dozens of months of rehab. Hers is a bittersweet road sprinkled with despair and struggle, but Parker has an uncanny ability to pick up beyond where she left off. For the Truckee, CA native, each low point is motivation to climb a little higher than she was before…

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