14-year old Parkite Troy Podmilsak featured in Under Armour commercial
November 14, 2018
Troy Podmilsak is living his best life.
Last season he took second in the Junior National Big Air competition at the Utah Olympic Park, and now the 14-year old Park City athlete is part of a new Under Armour ad campaign.
The new campaign, called "Crush the Limits," enlisted seven high-performing young athletes in different sports, and featured a short video of each of them in action.
In Podmilsak's spot, shot at Mammoth Mountain and locations around Salt Lake City and Park City, he soars over jumps in skis, grinds across rails, and he and his friends, Colby Johnson, Josh Levine, Schiloh Greenville, flip out of swings and off of structures at Matt Knoop Memorial Park.
During all of it, Troy narrates over a downbeat-heavy EDM track.
"I'm most proud of my two world records: The double cork 1440 and the double cork 1620 mute," he says over the opening shot. "I was the youngest person to ever accomplish it."
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Troy is no stranger to the spotlight. He's active on social media – his Instagram account has more than 9,000 followers and his biography lists a small collection of endorsements, such as the K2 Skis Factory Team, ski boot company FullTilt, the ski wax and equipment maker Swix, and GromUSA Clothing. His posts show him performing tricks at parks, flipping off of structures, and occasionally posing for photos with world-class athletes like Shaun White, Maggie Voisin and Nick Goepper.
But a video commercial was new ground for Troy.
"I had never really thought about being an actor or a commercial person, but after that I think I could do something like that," he said. "It was pretty cool because it was my first experience and it went so well."
His father, Scott, said Under Armour's interest in his son was both exciting and a little unnerving, but he said more than anything, it felt like justification.
"Every parent, I think, thinks their kid is going to be the next Shaun White," Scott said. "But you start understanding how to spot those anomalies that come along."
Scott said he realized that Troy, who has three siblings, had athletic talent that extended past a father's biases.
The family moved from Reston, Virginia to Park City when Troy was four. During a vacation back to Northern Virginia, Troy tried skiing at an indoor ski area with carpeted floors. Scott remembers his son flying off the jumps as a six year old – the same year he learned to do a standing back flip.
"He was skying," Scott said, recalling Troy's jumps from the 6-foot-tall ramp. "He was getting tons of air and I'm watching him going, 'Uh, I don't know whether I should tell him not to do this, or if he should do it, but he's not getting hurt and he's having fun.' But I was scared."
Scott said that, after how much his son has accomplished, seeing Troy among other talented athletes his age felt appropriate.
The series also features Maxwell "Bunchie" Young, an 11-year old football player from California who has already started receiving offers from Division 1 NCAA programs, and was the 2017 Sports Illustrated Kid of the Year.
Among adults, Under Armour partners with athletes like Stephen Curry and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Troy said he was amazed at the production value put behind his one-minute spot.
"It was crazy to see how much you shot and how much time you put into it for just a 30 second part," Troy said, reflecting on the process of making the commercial. "There were so many people on set, like, 10 people doing all these different things – camera guys, mike guys, makeup artists, directors – it was crazy to see."
The line of jackets runs from $55 to $155, and include youth-centric features like the UGrow system, a feature that provides extending sleeves so garments can grow with their wearers.
So what's next for Troy?
He's reticent to reveal what he's learning on the slopes ("I'm trying to keep a lot of my tricks on the low," he said), but he did say that he just perfected the unnatural double cork 1440 tail grab during a training camp on the Stubai Glacier in Austria.
Spectators will likely see the trick when Troy competes in Rev Tour events around the U.S. including one in Park City on March 1, 2019.
"If you do well in them you could actually go to the Junior Worlds, and junior Olympics," he said. "That's definitely on my radar."
Scott said there are some possible on-camera opportunities pending for Troy, but right now Troy is focused on training.
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