Vermont is a Breeding Ground for Top Ski and Snowboard Competitors
Sarah Neith, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Devin Logan wins the FIS World Cup in New Zealand, the first freeski halfpipe qualifier for the 2014 Olympic” – ESPN, Aug 22, 2012
It is not uncommon to see a Vermonter on the podium of any ski or snowboard competition. We have a rich history of skiing and snowboarding greats that range from hot new freestylers like Devin Logan, to Olympians medalists like snowboarder Ross Powers and the first American alpine skier to win two Olympic gold medals in 1952, Andrea Mead-Lawrence; the NCAA championship team from University of Vermont, to Warren Miller film legends like Dan and John Egan.
These athletes don’t get their start at the podium though. Years of training under the right coaches on ideal terrain are integral to this achievement – and Vermont provides both. In fact, Vermont is the birthplace of American ski academies and espouses seven ski academies, the most per state in the country and more than the rest of New England combined.
Vermont’s ski academies include: Burke Mountain Academy, Green Mountain Valley School, Killington Mountain School, Mount Mansfield Winter Academy, Mount Snow Academy, Stratton Mountain School and Okemo Mountain School.
Resort and Athlete Information:
Burke Mountain shares its slopes and partners with Burke Mountain Academy (BMA), since 1970, over 110 BMA graduates have been members of the US Ski Team or other National Teams. More than 50 have been Olympians and more than 60% matriculate into highly selective colleges. BMA is the most successful program of its kind in the US and the oldest in Vermont. Keep your eye on all of BMA’s athletes as they compete throughout the country and world at elite levels.
With challenging terrain that is unique to southern Vermont, Magic is home to both top Vermont Alpine Race Association (VARA) alpine race programs and extreme freeskiing programs. Magic is one of four original series stops on the Ski The East Freeride Tour along with Mad River Glen, Sugarbush and Jay Peak. Magic’s athletes have succeeded at J4 and J3 States and Regional races, led by the #2 female racer in southern Vermont, Megan Ahearn, currently a J3 racer. The Magic Alpine Training Center is also known for hosting one of the best-run races in VARA’s Southern Vermont Council. Magic enthusiastically welcomes and encourages competitions and racers to their competitive youth programs.
Mount Snow Resort
Mount Snow has a rich tradition of grooming incredible snow sport athletes through world-class coaching and terrain. Many of Mount Snow’s athletes have gone on to compete successfully on the global level, including West Dover’s own Kelly Clark who won Olympic Gold in the women’s snowboard halfpipe in 2002 and Olympic Bronze in 2010. Kelly is also one of the most decorated women in Winter X Games history with a total of seven medals in superpipe including three gold; most recently in 2012.
The Winter X Games and Winter Dew Tour are frequented by Mount Snow athletes including the brother/sister combo of Devin and Chris Logan. Devin is now on the U.S. Women’s Freestyle Team and was named the ATP Overall Champion in 2011/2012 to go along with winner the Dew Tour Cup and a silver medal at the Winter X Games in slopestyle. Fellow Mount Snow alum and mogul phenomenon Eliza Outtrim is also on the U.S. Freestyle Team. Parker White honed his skills at Mount Snow and has seen his fair share of podiums including gold at the 2010 Gatorade Free Flow Tour stop in Mammoth.
Mad River Glen
Vermonters, brothers and lifelong Mad River Glen skier Lars and Silas Chickering-Ayers have been competing on the World Freesking Tour for several years and have met with tremendous success. Lars won the 2010 Freeskiing World Championships and then in 2011 he led the charge as Mad River Glen skiers swept the podium. Lars won the event. Tom Runcie, took second followed in third-place by Lars’ younger brother Silas. ESPN trumpeted the fact that; “Maybe it shouldn't seem as surprising as it did. After all, Vermont's Mad River Glen is a hard place to ski. But still. Three kids from the same Vermont ski area monopolizing the podium at the vaunted Crested Butte Extremes, the holiest of big-mountain ski competitions?” Their success continued in 2012 as Silas won the North American Championships at Snowbird
Okemo Mountain Resort
Many successful athletes have trained on the slopes of Okemo Mountain Resort as participants in the Resort’s Competition Programs or as students at Okemo Mountain School. OMS students are highly motivated individuals and the school addresses the needs of these talented skiers and snowboarders, grades 7 through 12, by providing them with an opportunity to train daily and work toward their competitive athletic goals while maintaining high academic standards. Okemo’s latest rising star is Julia Ford. An OMS alumnus, Julia is a member of the U.S. Ski Team and claimed the overall 2012 NorAm title.
Rikert Nordic Center
Rikert is home to the Middlebury College Nordic team and is proud of it’s crew of elite athletes. Annie Pokorny (class of 2014) returns to the program this year after an NCAA All-American finish as a first-year skier!
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Club (SNSC), headquartered at the base of Smugglers’ Notch Resort’s Sterling Mountain, has been the training ground for the ski careers of Olympians, National Team members, pro ski racers and college athletes. SNSC started in 1959, not as SNSC, but as the Madonna Racing Team back when Smugglers’ Notch was known as Madonna Mountain. Well-known ski coach Mickey Cochran along with his sons and daughters formed the racing team. This unique family-oriented program offered the highest quality training and coaching at an inexpensive rate. In 1975 SNSC became a not-for-profit organization with the goal to provide competitive skiing opportunities to youth, and the club currently offers training and competitive opportunities in alpine skiing, freestyle skiing and snowboarding.
Stowe Mountain Resort
The Mt. Mansfield Ski Club (MMSC) was founded in the 1920's and incorporated in 1934 as a non-profit, non-promotional organization whose purpose was to provide, maintain and improve skiing facilities on the eastern side of Mt. Mansfield.
Spurred on by the dedication and talents of Sepp Ruschp and CV Starr, MMSC grew into an amateur ski organization which served as the official sponsor of sanctioned competitive events. While ski and snowboard competition is a major focus of our club, coaching and the Junior Ski and Snowboard Programs have produced literally countless world-class winter athletes over nearly a century.
Some notables include: Skiing – Billy Kidd, Chip Knight, Tiger Shaw, Peter Ruschp, Tanner Rainville, Jimmy Cochran and Ron Biederman. Snowboarding – Bud Keene, Jenner Richards, Zach Leach, Kyle Clancy, Travis Kennedy, Jake Blauvelt, Colin Langlois and Ty Walker.
Stratton Mountain Resort
Stratton Mountain Resort is home to the Stratton Mountain School (SMS). SMS has trained Olympians and US national team members for 40 years since becoming the first ski academy accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The curriculum combines the most comprehensive and innovative training programs in alpine and Nordic ski racing, freeskiing and snowboarding with a strong tradition of college preparatory academics. 36 Olympians, four Olympic medals and 93 national team athletes have called Stratton Mountain and SMS home, including Nordic skier Andy Newell and snowboarders Danny Davis, Louie Vito, Jack Mitrani, Lindsey Jacobellis and Ross Powers.
Sugarbush is home to the alpine training facility of the Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS). A world class and nationally renowned ski academy, GMVS’s alpine training program produces some of the finest ski racers in the country. GMVS has placed numerous athletes on the US Ski team since it’s inception in 1973, many of whom obtained World Cup podium finishes and Olympic medals. Adventure Skier and Warren Miller Film Star John Egan is on-staff at Sugarbush and available for private lessons and cat skiing adventures. World Cup Champion Freestyler David Babic skis at Sugarbush with his family, and offers occasional freestyle camps and consultation to Sugarbush’s freestyle team.
Trapp Family Lodge
Trapp Family Lodge is home to the VTXC Nordic ski team, a post-collegiate racing team captained by Ryan Kerrigan and Robyn Anderson (2011/2012 NENSA TD Banknorth New England Ski Marathon Series Overall Champions). Other notable athletes include Juergen Uhl, Eli Enman, Sabra Davison, and Mary Stewart. VTXC competes in the New England regional and national racing circuits and is sponsored and supported by Trapp Family Lodge, Swix, and Atomic.
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