Blake ready to mix it with the big boys

Top spot: Blake Marshall, centre, was all smiles after claiming first place at one of the events on the qualifying tour

Queenstown skier Blake Marshall’s rapid rise through the ranks continues with a place on the Freeride World Tour.

The tour brings together the best skiers and snowboarders in the world to compete on some of the most challenging alpine faces on the globe.

To qualify for the tour, Marshall had to compete in a series of events across the world.

He ended the season with first, third, and seventh place finishes, while the final event was cancelled.

He’s one of just 11 athletes to join the tour in 2020.

It’s a dream come true for Marshall.

“My dream as a little boy was to compete on a world circuit with skiing, whether it be racing, freestyle or freeride.

“I have reached that little boy’s dream. It means the world to me to qualify and represent my country and family on a world stage.”

It’s been a whirlwind season for the 24-year-old.

At 856th in the international rankings, the local surprised everyone by claiming the men’s ski title at Queenstown’s The Remarkables during last year’s Winter Games.