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Alpine Athletes  »  Lila Lapanja

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      Height
      5-8
      Weight
      154
       

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      Lila Lapanja had just finished her first driving lesson when she got the call from the U.S. Ski Team in early 2011. "I was so excited. I've been working so hard for it, and it's just one step closer to my dream of being an Olympic ski racer," said Lapanja, who learned of her nomination at the summit of Mt. Rose Highway.

      Her career hasn’t slowed since, and she slammed on the gas pedal in 2014 when she finished sixth in the Junior Worlds slalom, nabbed the NorAm slalom title and finished seventh in the overall. She rode that momentum right into U.S. Champs at Squaw Valley, her home mountain, winning bronze in slalom. 2015 was a rough season for Lapanja, as she struggled with an injury that kept her on the sidelines much of the season, but with Lila's grit and determination, she's fought back and is looking forward to crush in 2016.

      FIRST TRACKS
      U.S. born, but with dual citizenship with Slovenia, Lapanja inherited her love for skiing from dad and former Slovenian National Team skier Vojko Lapanja. After he moved to the U.S. in 1991, Lapanja was born and has had racing in her blood ever since. She cut her teeth at Diamond Peak and rapidly climbed the junior ranks before being called up to the U.S. Ski team in 2011.

      OFF THE SNOW
      “I am very interested in nature and animals. I think it is very important to understand the lives of animals and find ways to preserve their habitat and appreciate their beauty. I love animals, especially the snow leopard (you can learn more about this magnificent creature at www.snowleopard.org). I also love to play other sports, especially tennis and ping-pong! My passions also include traveling and learning about other cultures and people. Since I grew up speaking Slovene with my father and his family, I am very interested in language and one day I will be fluent in Slovene and German! I also enjoy reading and writing too and have started writing poetry.”

       

      Highlights

      NorAm slalom champion, 2014
      3rd, SL, U.S. Alpine Championships, 2014 (top junior)
      6th, SL, Junior World Championships, Jasna, SVK, 2014
      15th, SL, Junior World Championships, Mont St. Anne, CAN, 2013
      Back-to-back U.S. Junior combined champion, 2012, 2013