February 24, 2011 06:02 ET

Canadian Pipe Dream: 7-Year-Old Snowboard Phenom Wants to Be the Next Shaun White

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 24, 2011) -

Note to editors: A photo is included with this press release on Marketwire's website.

A little boy with a big dream has it all figured out! Since the age of four, – everyone calls him ATV – knew he wanted a snowboard and nothing else. His parents, Anita and Robert Vallati knew nothing about the sport, and after trying to get ATV interested in hockey (what else?), soccer, swimming, tennis, gymnastics, golf, guitar and piano for the next three years, they finally relented. 

Problem was no Canadian hill takes youngsters at seven years of age. The Vallatis finally got ATV accepted into the learning program at Tremblant. Within six weeks, the Quebec rep for Burton, the biggest name in the sport, tagged him and ATV is now a Burton Regional Rider as well as part of the Tremblant Adrenaline Team.

Little did Burton or anyone else know that in less than a year of snowboarding, ATV is now the #1 ranked rider for his age group in Southern Vermont – the hub for snowboarding, where younger riders are groomed for international competition and of course, Olympic glory.

Raschid Joyce, Stratton Snowboard Competition Team Supervisor and Founder of Green Mountain Snowboard has had the pleasure of coaching ATV this winter. "ATV is one of the youngest snowboarders I have coached… When asked what his goals were early in the season, he told me "I want to go to the Olympics ". At only seven years old that is not only a big dream, but also a life commitment. …In those bad (weather) days, I have personally seen him get through and come back for more, that makes me believe that his dreams and goals can some day be his reality." 

Tom Hutchison, present head coach of the National Belarus team and formerly the head coach of the Canadian Olympic halfpipe team, echoes Rashid's comments: "I am surprised at how fast he (ATV) is progressing. His passion for the sport at such a young age is remarkable… He will do Canada very proud in competitive snowboarding now and also way into the future.

ATV has already ridden with other prominent snowboarders such as Canada's Charles Reid, and Luke Mitrani and Scotty Lago of the States. They all love ATV on the slopes, and have taken to calling him "Mini-Shred". Although ATV has also met Kazu Kokubo, Japan's top snowboarder, he has yet to meet his hero. The chances are good that this will happen at the beginning of April when ATV competes at Nationals.

And ATV's parents, well, they couldn't be prouder: fully supporting their son's exceptional talent while making sure he gets to be a seven-year-old little boy who plays with his action figure - Terje Haakonsen, a snowboarder of course – and gets schoolwork done while training for his big event in Colorado on April 2.

About Burton

The Burton Corporation surfs the slopes with its premium snowboards and equipment. The company, which does business as Burton Snowboards, is the world's leading snowboard manufacturer. It also makes snowboarding apparel, eyewear, boots, bindings, and packs under its namesake Burton, AK, Anon, and RED brands.

About Adrenaline

Specialists in snowboard and skate culture, Adrenaline is THE hot sports clothing spot. You'll find an immense selection and all the newest trends in good looking and functional sportswear. Based in Quebec's Tremblant, Adrenaline is the destination for every serious rider and skater.

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Contact Information

  • Knock on Wood Communications + Events
    Kita Szpak
    613-236-8452 ext. 512