As a model, the buff Bloom has appeared in photo ad campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger and Abercrombie & Fitch. He has turned down numerous other opportunities. "There's something about the word model that bothers him," says Bloom's mother, Char. Among the companies Bloom does model for--gigs that earn him in the upper six figures annually--he is most comfortable with Under Armour, the athletic-apparel line. " Under Armour says athletic performance," says his agent, Andy Carroll. "That's Jeremy."
Besides impressionable young males, another lucrative demographic appreciates Bloom regardless of what sport he plays or what product he sells. "There were always lots of women around, whenever we went out," says Colorado senior quarterback Joel Klatt, one of Bloom's closest football friends. "And we would mock him mercilessly."
Bloom's girlfriend of 18 months is Cameran Eubanks, 22, one of the stars of MTV's Real World San Diego. When she stands with Bloom on the Colorado football sideline, there are as many frat boys screaming their affection for Eubanks--and with good reason--as there are young women voicing theirs for Bloom. Amid such clamor he exudes boy-next-door charm and poses for every picture that's requested.
Bloom squirms at selling his image. "It makes people think they know you, when they really don't," he says. "But as long as the public gravitates to looks and celebrity, it's not going to change." Despite his qualms, he has signed with powerhouse Hollywood talent firm Creative Artists Agency, which will guide him toward television and movies.
All of this started innocently enough, with a battered old green motorcycle helmet, a tattered Superman cape and a gnarly bump run called Ambush at the Keystone Ski area in Colorado. Bloom's parents, Larry and Char (who would separate when Bloom was a high school freshman and later divorce), bought a condo at Keystone and lived there on the weekends, riding to the lifts while Larry blasted Michael Jackson on the radio. They taught Jeremy and siblings Molly, now 27, and Jordan, 25, to ski the bumps. (Char became an instructor.) Jeremy wore the helmet and the cape while bombing down the black diamond run to the amazement of recreational skiers sprawled out in yard sales.
"First ones on the lift, last ones off the mountain," says Jeremy, describing the Blooms' routine. "If it was snowing, we skied. If it was cold, we skied. This was not about sipping hot chocolate and waiting for apr�s-ski. It was great family time. And I loved going fast."
In moguls Jeremy became a prodigy with a great head for competition. "He has what I call a quiet brain. Nothing bothers him," says Larry, a psychology professor at Colorado State. Jeremy got free goggles from Oakley at age 11 and earned a place on the U.S. team at 13. Coincidentally, that is when he also started running wild as a slippery quarterback on the youth football fields in Loveland, a city of a little more than 50,000 north of Denver. Bloom excelled at both sports and would surrender neither. "He would draw pictures when he was young," says Char. "One day a skier with a medal around his neck, the next day a football player. I guess he was trying to tell us something."
There were epic juggling acts as Bloom shuttled between ski training camps and football practices. "He'd blow in from Norway or somewhere and catch touchdown passes," says John Poovey, who as his head coach at Loveland High shifted Bloom to wide receiver. In October of Bloom's senior year Barnett offered him a scholarship, and when Bloom arrived in Boulder in the summer of 2001, teammates were momentarily taken aback. "Jeremy comes in, and he's, like, five-foot-two," says Klatt. "I'm saying, 'That's the big-play guy?' But when the lights go on, he's unbelievable."
Barnett says, "He's a ferocious competitor. If he got beat in a drill, he would insist on doing it again, and he would just physically annihilate whoever came up against him."
It was during that first Colorado training camp that Bloom decided to quit skiing. Despite solid results he had remained buried on the U.S. C-level team, with little hope of getting World Cup starts or reaching the Olympics. Then came a call from U.S. moguls coach Donnie St. Pierre, inviting Bloom to the team's summer training camp in El Colorado, Chile; the 2002 Olympic carrot was dangled. Bloom went with Barnett's blessing (and a redshirt) and drilled tirelessly on the Southern Hemisphere snow. At the end of the camp St. Pierre offered Bloom a World Cup start at a December event in Tignes, France, and told him that if he finished in the top 12, he would be elevated to the freestyle moguls A team. Bloom finished third. The next month he was named to the Olympic team.