Who is world snowboarding champion Mia Brookes?

Mia Brookes is the youngest world champion in the history of snowboarding.

Aged 16 she won slopestyle gold in Georgia to become Britain's first-ever world champion in the event.

But how did she get there?

Let’s meet the person behind the historic achievement and talk avocados, sleepovers and Olympic dreams.

Early starter

Mia was born in Sandbach, Cheshire, and stepped on a snowboard as soon as she could walk.

Mia first tried the sport at 18 months old at Kidsgrove Ski Centre in Stoke.

She was encouraged by her parents Vicky and Nigel, who lived in Chamonix for five ski seasons.

She honed her craft at Chill Factore in Manchester and travelled around Europe in the family motorhome.

"We would spend about six weeks on snow when Mia was little and she was soon snowboarding at our level with us and always loved the snow parks, the jumps and the rails," Nigel told BBC Sport.

“I grew up almost in two places,” Mia said on the Outside and Active podcast. “It’s nice to have a European side to my life.”

She met GB coaches aged ten and was soon selected for the team’s development squad.

Mia ripped up the junior circuit, becoming junior world champion in Big Air and placing second in Slopestyle in early 2022.

Broccoli fuelled

Mia has used the legendary slopes of Laax, Switzerland as a key training base as well as Livigno, Italy and Hintertux in Austria.

A lover of the countryside, she enjoys cycling with her Dad during the off-season - aiming for 100 miles a week.

In the summer you can find her shredding in Salford at the Graystone skate park and she is also a keen surfer.

Weekly strength sessions are the foundation for her success with Brookes keen to emphasise that what you see on social media isn't the full story.

“On Instagram you just see the snowboarding,” she says.

“It’s like a cake, snowboarding is the nice layer on the top but there’s a lot you can’t see, gym, skating, surfing, all them little base layers that build up to the gnarly.”

Her favourite quick meal is uncooked broccoli and she mainlines fruit and veg.

“I love avocado and egg on bagels. I love salmon, pasta, curry…. I pretty much eat whatever I fancy, but I also know to be sensible and eat healthy.”

Concussion scare

It has not been a totally smooth ride for Mia.

In 2021 she got a bad concussion, was unconscious for 40 minutes after a training accident and airlifted off the snow.

“Sometimes I’m scared,” she says. “You have to channel it almost, think about it a bit, just breathe and go. You’ve got to switch your mindset on.”

She often has to miss out on time with friends and family for training and competitions overseas.

“Some of me is like, ‘I’m missing out on what 15 and 16 year olds do, going to sleepovers and hanging out with mates.’

“Then I look at it and would I rather go to sleepovers or send it off big jumps? You can’t even compare it! This is my journey and wherever I snowboard is my home.”

Bring on Milan!

It’s easy to forget that this is Mia’s first season on the senior international circuit.

She won World Cup silver in Laax in January, a dream come true at an event that she'd watched for six years before competing.

While other athletes stay in nearby apartments, Mia still choose to stay in her trusty motorhome.

Her guitar is close by - as well as an electric blanket.

Earlier this year the teenager was one of only eight riders to get an invite to the prestigious X Games - and now she's a world champion.

In the process she became the first woman of all time to land a 1440 trick having become the first to land a cab 12 in competition.

Mia was too young to compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

She still places the emphasis on fun in her competitive journey but the 2026 Games in Milan-Cortina are hard to ignore.

“The Olympic rings are at the end of the tunnel,” she admits. “But I take it day-by-day and think about what I need to improve on next.

“The Olympics would be quite cool. My science teacher emailed my Mum saying: ‘when Mia goes to the Olympics, I’ll come and watch!'"

Sportsbeat 2023