Homeschool Snowboarders Train for Olympics

For the Kotsenburg family, snowboarding is part of daily life. Throughout the year they travel all over the world so Sage and Kirra can train and compete. Kirra is a student-athlete in her senior year at Alpha Omega Academy, AOP’s online accredited academy. Sage graduated from AOA in 2011.

Sage Kotsenberg

Sage got involved in snowboarding through his older brother Blaze, also an AOA graduate. Sage wanted to do everything his older brother was doing and started snowboarding at age five. Kirra followed suit and quickly joined her older brothers.

“A family that shreds together, stays together,” she said.

Both Kirra and Sage have some impressive accomplishments. Kirra placed 12th in the Burton U.S. Open 2012 Women's Open Division Slopestyle when she was just 15 years old. Sage was the first person to ever land a cab double cork 1440 in competition in 2011. In the upcoming season, Sage hopes to represent the United States. on the slopestyle team at the Olympic Games in 2014. Kirra's short term goal is to qualify to compete in the Olympic qualifiers this winter.

Sage is a frontrunner for the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia, having earned one of three spots on the Men’s 2013 U.S. Snowboarding Slopestyle Pro Team. Currently sitting in second place in both points and rankings, Sage will compete in five Olympic qualifying events this winter, beginning with the Dew Tour in mid-December.

“It has been a dream of mine to compete in the Olympics since I was just a little kid, and to have it happen when I am still at such a young age gives me hope to be able to do two of them,” Sage said. “It would be one of the highlights of my entire life.”

Kirra Kotsenberg

Though she’s close, Kirra sits just on the edge of going pro. Though injuries have prevented her from participating in key competitions for the past few years, she has earned a discretionary spot in the Copper Mountain Grand Prix in Colorado this month. Performing well in that competition could lead to invitations to additional Olympic qualifying events.

“Having fun is really the key,” Kirra said. “Being uptight is not going to help you learn. Snowboarding isn’t all about competitions. It’s about shredding with your friends and family and staying happy with yourself.”

Their favorite event to compete in is snowboard slopestyle. In this event, competitors go through a course where the goal is to complete a variety of difficult tricks while getting the most air. Slopestyle is making its Olympic debut in both skiing and snowboarding at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Alpha Omega Academy has been a big part of the Kotsenburg’s family life. Both Kirra and Sage love the flexibility that AOA offers.

"I see AOA as a springboard to my education,” Sage explained. “AOA allowed me the opportunities to enjoy life experiences that a traditional classroom could never give me."

They also emphasize the value of receiving a Christian education.

"AOA has given me the necessary foundations of a Bible-based curriculum without stunting my desires to chase my dreams in the world of professional snowboarding," Kirra said.

Kirra and Sage are just two of the many examples of how students across the United States and the world are able to receive a Christian education through Alpha Omega Academy that fits their schedule and academic needs.

Post your comment below to wish the Kotsenburg family success in qualifying for the 2014 Winter Olympics. To learn more about Alpha Omega Academy, visit or call 800-682-7396.

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