Drew Duffy and Erik Arvidsson are two promising up-and-coming athletes on the U.S. Ski Team. Both started racing as kids and have gone on to build résumés that most junior racers only dream about. 20-year-old Duffy skied at Mad River Glen, starting his race career there at 9 years old, before heading to Sugarbush to attend Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS). On the other end of the country, 18-year-old Arvidsson grew up skiing on the Bear Valley Ski Education Foundation weekend ski program. When he was 13, he headed to Squaw Valley and raced there for five seasons before making the team.
The guys started breaking out in the 2014-15 season—Arvidsson turned heads when he won the NorAm combined title and a NorAm super G. Duffy beat out World Cup stars like Steven Nyman and Travis Ganong for the U.S. Alpine Champs super G title.
There’s nothing like a previously injured athlete beating the odds and scoring the winning goal, getting the highest score or finishing in first place. It's thrilling and fun for fans to watch their team or favorite athlete attack from the back. This season, there were comebacks all around the FIS World Cup circuit to keep the year interesting—specifically Bode Miller, Aksel Lund Svindal and Lindsey Vonn, to name a few. Together, they kept fans on their toes, unsure of how their favorite skier would perform at a high level again.
PARK CITY, UT (June 10, 2015) – Ted Ligety took some time out of the gym on Thursday to drive to Ogden, UT—about an hour away from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Center of Excellence in Park City, UT—to visit the Larry H. and Gail Miller Foundation YMCA Community Family Center. There, he spent the afternoon signing autographs, taking pictures and letting kids hold his gold medal from the Sochi Winter Olympics. But it wasn’t just about showing off for Ligety—it was about motivating the kids to work hard for something they love.
Ligety’s visit was part of the Y I Ski program. Started by the YMCA, Ligety, USSA, the National Winter Sports Education Foundation and Deer Valley Resort, Y I Ski is an affordable learn-to-ski program for kids ages 7-14. This is the second year of the successful program and is designed to help kids find a healthy passion to keep them active throughout the winter.
Olympian and U.S. Ski Team alumna Libby Ludlow didn’t stop when she retired from the U.S. Ski Team. Instead, she attended Dartmouth, enrolled in law school at the University of Washington and even took a year off to teach yoga. But she found her real passion in her desire to help young women.
With former U.S. Ski Team member Jilyne Higgins, Ludlow pursued that passion by started ZGiRLS, a program that mentors young girls through their sports. ZGiRLS focuses on things like sport nutrition, body image and communication skills, making the girls "confident, centered and courageous." It’s a positive curriculum that focuses on making young athletes more successful throughout their development.
Girls work together in a ZGiRLS 'huddle.' (ZGiRLS)
The NorAm Finals wrapped on Monday in Waterville Valley, NH and Burke Mountain, VT with Michael Ankeny, Tim Kelley, Paula Moltzan, Megan McJames and Tommy Ford qualifying for World Cup starts and Michael Ankeny taking the overall win.
After almost two weeks of bluebird skies and warm temperatures, winter weather returned for the last day of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Battling blowing snow and difficult visibility, Ted Ligety took 21st and Tim Kelley 23rd.