Coming from a family of track runners and a culture of running, Brolin Mawejje is not the average Ugandan. Brolin loves to snowboard.
Not only does Brolin love to snowboard, he is on a mission to become the first Ugandan to represent his country at the Winter Olympics by riding one. With the 2018 Games in his sights, Brolin is working hard to earn his way into World Cup competitions and believes within a few months he will be able to do so.
Until then, Brolin has more work to do and a few great places lined up to do it. In mid December, Brolin will be in Utah with plans to ride Park City (a park he has grown familiar with over recent years). After that, he will head off to Jackson Hole in Wyoming for the holidays to ride powder.
However, before Brolin does any of that, he will be dropping in at Dew Tour Breckenridge 2016. Brolin has been invited to snowboard as the forerunner to competition. Not a competitor, this is simply an opportunity to spend time riding alongside professionals in the truest sense.
Brolin has been at Breckenridge all week now. When asked how the place was riding on day one he answered honestly, "It's a little bit windy and I have yet to get used to the kick in the jump, but the rails are amazing. The course is great."
Humbled to be granted access, Brolin came into Dew Tour with absolutely zero expectations. According to him, he only hopes that while he is here he can surprise himself and see what comes of it. That means he intends to practice as much as he can, while he can.
"I'm trying to get some good riding in each day. It's good weather and a great course," explains Brolin. "I know a lot of riders in North America are not hitting good jumps or good rails right now, so I'm stoked."
To recap his first day prating on the hill, Brolin could only call upon positives.
"The course is great. The people are good. I'm making some friends. Overall it's good."
Then a few days went by. The weather changed a bit. Rather the clear skies and warm air, temperatures dropped and brought in fresh snowfall.
As the first day of competition approached, the weather forecast caused for a schedule change. During Friday's Men's Snowboard Slopestlye Pro competition Brolin was only in attendance to spectate the action as it took place in near whiteout conditions.
How was he feeling when he watched his snowboarding idols take on the 65-foot booter despite constant snowfall slowing the takeoff and low visibility?
"A little intimidated," Brolin admitted. "It looks like there is no speed… It is also exciting. Just to to hang out and watch all the guys hit [the jump]. To see their emotions behind the scenes. To see they go through the same mindset that I go through. Being a little bit scared before dropping in. It's exciting. It's humanizing."
Brolin is still set to drop in as the forerunner to Saturday's jib section of the Slopestyle Pro Competition, and then on the jump Sunday. Taking those runs at Dew Tour, alongside his idols will mark a significant step forward toward his larger, Olympic goal.
"It's surreal looking at most of the riders you have looked up to your whole life right in front of you and hanging out with them," says Brolin. "Talking to them, picking their brains a little bit. Seeing what I can learn—being a student of the game."
Over the past few days, Brolin has been "snaking" his way through the park and has just about dialed in his run to open the jib section competition. Still, Brolin maintains he is without expectations, and is doing his best to take his snowboarding on one day at a time.
"Everything is brand new to me. I am like a deer in the headlights, just trying to take it all in."