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Mia’s Magic

Mia Brookes did an amazing trick on snowy slopes. Now she’s a snowboarding champion!

A young woman in snowboarding clothes and a medal around her neck smiles in front of the flag of Great Britain.

Alexis Boichard—Agence Zoom/Getty Images Sport; Map: © Pytyczech/

Mia Brookes became a champion at a snowboarding contest in the nation of Georgia. The map shows that Georgia is located near the nation of Russia.

Mia Brookes is a snowboarding champion, and she’s only 16! Brookes, who is from Great Britain, pulled off an amazing trick at the 2023 Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships in the nation of Georgia on February 27. She’s now the youngest world champion in her sport.

In snowboarding, a person stands on a board and slides down a surface that’s covered in snow. In the sport of snowboarding, athletes do tricks as well. Brookes is a slopestyle snowboarder. In slopestyle, snowboarders slide down a slope, or steep hill. Along the way, they go up ramps and rails, which sends them flying into the air. While in the air, the snowboarders do flips, spins, and other tricks and try to land on their feet.

A snowboarder on a board flies high over a slope as a man takes her photo.

Alexis Boichard—Agence Zoom/Getty Images Sport

Mia Brookes flew high at the world championships!

At the event in Georgia, Brookes did a trick called the CAB 1440 double grab. She flew off the ramp and spun four times, grabbing her snowboard twice as she did the trick. It was the first time anyone had successfully done the CAB 1440 in a women’s competition.

“I actually can’t believe [I did the CAB 1440],” Brookes later told GB Snowsport. “When I did it, I wasn’t sure I’d managed it. But I thought about it and was like…yep, I’ve done a [1440]!”

This was Brookes’s first time in a world event at this level—the highest level in her sport. And she’s just getting started. Look for Mia Brookes at the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy!

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Fun Fact

Sherman Poppen Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. © Smithsonian Institution

Sherman Poppen (left) shows some versions of the Snurfer. An ad for the Snurfer is shown on the right.

One of the first people to come up with the idea for a snowboard was Sherman Poppen. In 1965, Poppen attached two skis together so his kids could try surfing on snow. He called his invention the Snurfer, because it was a lot like the surfboards people use to ride on ocean waves.

Did Poppen know he was helping to create an Olympic sport?

She Flew High!

A young woman in early aviation clothes waves from the cockpit of a plane.

Smith Archive/Alamy

Elinor Smith was one of the first people to fly a plane.

March is Women’s History Month. It’s a great time to celebrate some amazing women. Have you heard of Amelia Earhart or Bessie Coleman? They were both early pilots. Elinor Smith was another early pilot. And she was only a teenager! 

Smith was born in 1911, just eight years after the first airplane flight. She started taking flying lessons when she was about 10 years old. At age 15, she flew solo (alone) for the first time. One year later, when she was 16, she earned a pilot’s license. This was amazing, and not just because Smith was still a teenager. At the time—in 1928—most pilots were men.

A young woman wearing breeches and boots poses in front of a small plane.


Elinor Smith was only 16 when she became a pilot.

Over and over, Smith proved how talented she was. When she was 17, some people told her they didn’t think a young woman could be a good pilot. They dared her to fly under all four of the bridges that spanned New York City’s East River. She did. Later that year, she flew solo for 13 hours and 17 minutes, longer than any woman had before. Not long after, she flew solo for 26 hours and 27 minutes.

Smith took a break from flying to raise her children. Then, in 1956, she started flying again—and didn’t stop until 2001. Smith died in 2010. She was 98 years old. 

Women’s History Month

Addison N. Scurlock—Michael Ochs Archives, Stephen Shugerman, Andrew Burton, Clive Brunskill, Sasha—Hulton Archive, Hulton Archive/Getty Images; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (LC-DIG-ds-05052, LC-U9-25383-33, LC-DIG-ppmsca-23661); Courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum; PRNewsFoto/XM Satellite Radio/AP Images; Sojourner Truth . . . From Her “Book of Life”; NASA;  Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.; National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution (NPG.2009.36); © Tupungato/; Steve Petteway/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States; Animation Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Celebrate Women’s History Month by reading about amazing women at Britannica School!

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