Reflecting on Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Olympians
When we received word of our first Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athlete qualifying for the Sochi Olympics, we decided to capture their reflections on this monumental achievement on video. What we had not counted on at the time was a total of 11 Olympians! We were able to capture comments from nine of the 11 in the few short days leading up to the Olympics.
Their reflections, a few of which are shared below, are extremely powerful, not just for an aspiring young athlete, but for anybody of any age pursuing or guiding someone else in the pursuit of a dream.
Q: How does it feel to represent your country?
• “I am usually out their representing myself and my sponsors at competitions. To represent my country is huge.”
• “It is such an honor. When I started skiing at five or six years old in Vail that was the dream — to be an Olympian.”
• “So excited to be able to represent the United States of America. Go team USA!”
Q: What advice do you have for young, aspiring athletes?
• “Be persistent and professional about your training. Treat it as a job as that is how you become the best, by day in and day out working out and attending every practice with professionalism and a goal of getting better.”
• “Make sure you always stay humble. Don’t let things get too big because you are never too big for the sport — the sport will always be bigger than you. That’s how people will like to be around you.”
• “Enjoy the journey. Find something you love, set goals for yourself, dream big, work hard and remember to always have fun along the way. If it is not fun, if you are not enjoying it, it probably is not worth doing it and you are not going to get what you want out of it.”
• “Every time I am training, no matter how tired, cold or sore I am … I know whatever I am doing today I am already a step closer and I am that one little bit better of an athlete than I was the day before. So all the little grommies who want to go inside for hot chocolate and to warm up those toes, just remember your competitors are still out there training, so stay out and keep up the good work.”
• “For all you kids out there who want to go to the Olympics, you can do it if you work hard, train as much as you can and just dedicate yourself to your goals.”
• “Listen to your coaches, and stick with it. I know it can get rough, but you can accomplish anything if you believe in yourself and you follow your dreams.”
Q: What role has your family played in achieving your Olympic dream?
• “My family is super supportive.”
• “My family has done everything for my skiing. They would drive me to races. My dad would wait at the bottom of the hill for me at training until it got dark. He never pushed me or told me what I needed to do. My family just supported my dream and gave me every opportunity I needed to accomplish my goals.”
• “A huge thanks to my parents. I could not be where I am without them. They’ve put up with a lot. I know it does not mean that much to say ‘thank you,’ but ‘thank you.’”
• “I could not do it without my coaches or my family. Whether my family is here or away they support me 100 percent. There is nothing they wouldn’t do to help me get where I am now.”
When asked how Ski & Snowboard Club Vail has impacted these Olympians in their path to the Olympics, across the board these Olympians thanked and credited their SSCV coaches.
• “SSCV has been an integral part of my path to the Olympics. They’ve offered me everything from financial support to domestic race support and most importantly a coaching staff and group of athletes that I am able to train with who are able to push me to help me further myself as an athlete. A world-class training group is vital to becoming an international level skier. SSCV is an integral part of my Colorado family. There are always ups and downs. No career is easy and smooth. SSCV has been there every step of the way.”
• “SSCV has given me coaches who pushed and challenged me every single day … and helped me get my Olympic drive.”
• “After joining SSCV, I got to work with coaches giving me a lot of support. I learned things I never knew before and I am very thankful.”
• “SSCV coaches helped me to get to where I am today.”
• “I wouldn’t be where I am without my SSCV coach, so thank you so much.”
I am so very proud of these young men and women, not only because they have achieved Olympic status, but more importantly because their reflections demonstrate the character traits that Ski & Snowboard Club Vail seeks to instill in each and every one of its athletes. These are the traits that will last a lifetime.