Vail Daily’s View: Star and heart of U.S. ski team hail from Vail
Vail, CO, Colorado
Lindsey Vonn has been a stellar ambassador for Vail and Vail Resorts. We couldn’t ask for better.
Her youth, poise, personal integrity and friendliness — especially with children — make her a role model America can admire in all respects. She has the looks to legitimately make Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition.
Oh, and she skis pretty well, too.
The gold medal in the Winter Olympics last season only added a bit more glitter to three World Cup season titles in a row, and good prospects this season to make it four.
Vonn, at the ripe ol’ age of 26, already is America’s top female skier in history. Has she even hit her prime yet?
So she’s the toast of American skiing, and Vail couldn’t be prouder of her.
But another hometown product has our heart. That’s Sarah Schleper, who has competed on the World Cup circuit since 1995 and turned in the fastest slalom time among North Americans in the 2010 Olympics, her fourth.
She’s 31 now, and gunning for her fifth Olympics, at Sochi, Russia, in 2014.
Last season, she got to the Olympics the hard way, funding her own way through the World Cup circuit after returning from a year off due to knee injury and fully earning her spot on the Olympic team.
It’s all about love for the sport and a will that’s nothing short of awesome to behold. She’s back on the A team and charging hard.
So Vail can lay claim to the star and the soul of the women’s U.S. ski team. No wonder the program is making a celebration of announcing the team Saturday afternoon here. It’s only fitting.
The festivities start at 4:30 p.m. in Vail Square in Lionshead. Bode Miller and the men’s team will be there, too.
Give a big assist to Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, too. Vonn and Schleper cut their teeth competing with the club back when, and the club’s upgrading of snowmaking at Golden Peak created the opportunity for the U.S. team to train here this past week.
So there’s plenty to be excited about in Vail, which oh by the way is getting ready to host the 2015 world championships.
Anyone doubt that Schleper will be there, giving her all?
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