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Two-time Olympian Leanne Smith followed her older sister Laurel into skiing, latched onto racing and continues to shave microseconds from her time. A NorAm champion and topflight junior skier, she inked a spot on the World Cup elite after finishing 23rd in her career first World Cup start, which also happened to be the first downhill of the 2008 season. It was only five years before she was standing on the World Cup podium in Val d'Isere.

Minor injuries stacked up and ultimately slowed Smith during the 2014 season, but it didn’t stop her from putting in 100-percent heart and effort. The ‘grit and bear it’ technique resulted in a trip to World Cup Finals for super G, where she capped the season with 19th in the discipline standings. She also stayed in the top 30 for downhill.

When Smith is healthy and confident enough to put it all on the line, she’s a contender for the podium in every race she starts. Look out for her in 2015, when her Live Free or Die Granite State mentality will be back in the start gate.

I’m glad I was able to finish the season without major injury, but it’s tough to race knowing your body is not 100-percent able to handle everything it needs to in order to be fast. Mostly it’s just super frustrating. I’m the type of athlete who wants to take risk and push the line in every race, and when I can’t do that, I don’t feel like I can be competitive.

At the World Cup level now, any small mistake and you might not even make the top 30. The girls are that good these days. I know I have the speed to be in there every time. Now it’s all about moving ahead, getting healthy and putting in the hard work in order to start the 2015 season strong.

On skis at six, Smith skied at Cranmore, the heralded Mount Washington Valley ski area made famous when instructional legend Hannes Schneider arrived there from Austria in 1938. Smith skied for Cranmore’s race team until she entered Kennett H.S., where she continued racing. She spent a year at UNH and took leave for winter ’07, when she moved to the Mount Washington Valley Ski Team. She then erupted, having a breakout season as a double NorAm champion, which led her directly to the World Cup and the U.S. Ski Team.

Smith loves mountain biking, fly fishing, rock climbing–sometimes all in the same day, especially in the Mt. Washington Valley. When not stomping around the Granite State, check for her in Park City training at the Center of Excellence and taking in all that the Wasatch has to offer. Music wise, it's across the board with Smith: The Roots, Tallest Man On Earth, Modest Mouse and every now again, she'll throw some "trashy hip hop song" on the iPhone playlist. "I've been known to throw in a little Wu-Tang from time to time...and country music." 



Teams: 2010, 2014
18th, SG, Sochi, RUS, 2014
18th, SG, Vancouver, CAN, 2010
21st, SC, Vancouver, CAN, 2010

Teams: 2011, 2013
12th, DH, Schladming, AUT, 2013
16th, SG, Schladming, AUT, 2013
19th, SG, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, GER, 2011

WORLD CUP (highlights)
Two DH podiums, 2013
12th in DH and SG standings, 25th in overall, 2013
19th in SG standings, 2014
Top 25 in downhill and super G standings (2011, 2012)
Points in four races during rookie season, 2008

2010, DH, Aspen, CO

2010 Europa Cup downhill win at Caspoggio, Italy
2007 NorAm overall and SG champion
2007 Ski Racing Junior of the Year
10th in SG at '07 Junior World Championships