Phoebe Mills makes leap from athlete to judge - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Phoebe Mills makes leap from athlete to judge

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SOCHI, RUSSIA (NBC) - Phoebe Mills seems like just another skilled rider at the Sochi Olympic snowboarding park, but she’s a bit different.

At 41-years-old, her place is in the judges booth as a first-time Olympic judge for snowboarding.

“It’s a lot of responsibility. We take our job very seriously,” Mills said.

This isn’t her first trip to the Olympics. Mills was once a competitor, taking the bronze medal on the balance beam in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games at just 15-years-old.

Mills has participated in a lot of sports, including speed skating as family activity, but she took gymnastics more seriously.

After college, she became interested in snowboarding, getting hooked and pursuing a career in coaching then judging.

“I do things that I enjoy doing…and then once I set my mind to something, I’m very focused and very driven. Coming from a really supportive environment and a nurturing family I think makes all the difference in the end,” Mills said.

Despite the responsibility that comes with judging, she still says that being an athlete is more nerve-wracking.

“It's very nostalgic to think back when I was an athlete. It's such an amazing and unique experience. As a judge and as a former athlete, you understand this is a big deal for a lot of people,” Mills said.

One of her first events was judging the men’s slopestyle competition.

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