CALABASAS, Calif. (KABC) -- Stella Reitman of Calabasas is just 10 years old, but she's already being recognized as one of the best young skiers in the country. She hopes to blaze a trail for other girls to follow in her steps.
Stella has been tearing up the slopes from the moment she could stand on skis.
"By the time Stella hit 4 or 5 years old, we could see that she was, you know, definitely an incredible skier," father Jeremy Reitman said.
Stella has excelled quickly over the years, and has skied nonstop over the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Sometimes they'd move me up a few levels because it was just pretty easy for me and during COVID it was kind of like an opportunity to start the ski team because there wasn't anything else to do," Stella said.
Her parents Jeremy and Taryn Reitman recognized Stella's love and talent for freestyle skiing. They made the commitment to drive 600 miles round-trip from Calabasas to Mammoth on a weekly basis to nurture and develop her natural ability for the sport.
"It's absolutely worth it," Taryn said. "It's not just Stella that is amazing at it, she's got a little brother who is great at it, too, and they do it because they love it and we've told them that we will do it until they don't love it anymore, and if they don't love it anymore, we won't do it anymore."
That commitment has already paid major dividends. She's the nation's No. 1 ranked skier in her age group and will look to defend her top ranking at the national championships at Copper Mountain in Colorado this weekend.
The Reitmans are in disbelief over her success.
"I couldn't imagine that she could be ranked first in the nation," Taryn said. "I just can't imagine it."
Stella feels great that her hard work has paid off.
"I was super happy, and I was just so excited because I've been training really, really hard for it," she said.
The question on everyone's mind: does Stella have ambitions to compete in the Olympics?
"I mean, she equally wants to be an astronaut, so she's equally smart as she is athletic," Taryn said.
Ranking No. 1 in halfpipe and No. 4 in slopestyle hasn't come without bumps and bruises along the way, but that's never held her back.
"Once you start landing it consistently and you know that you can do it then it gets a lot easier and a lot less scary and sometimes you don't land it and sometimes it's just not your day, but you just have to keep trying," Stella said.
At just 10 years old, Stella hope she can inspire other girls to strap on the skis and pick up the sport.
"There aren't many girls doing this sport," Stella said. "And I really think more girls should start doing this sport because they are as good as boys."