Ski Club Vail racers make U.S. Ski Team
VAIL, Colorado – Ski and Snowboard Club Vail racers Paula Moltzan and Katharine Irwin, both 17, are the two newest Vail nominees to the U.S. Ski Team.The news is something they’ve been hoping to hear for years. The nominees were officially announced Monday, but Moltzan and Irwin found out about three weeks ago.”I’m really excited,” Moltzan said. “I can’t wait to go be a part of the team.”Moltzan and Irwin are two of six Ski and Snowboard Club Vail nominees, which include Lindsey Vonn, Sarah Schleper, Will Gregorak and Abby Ghent. Mikaela Shiffrin, of Eagle-Vail, is also on the list and is a former Ski and Snowboard Club Vail racer. The official U.S. Ski Team roster is announced in the fall. The athletes on the list of nominees have met the criteria to be on the team, and now it’s up to them.”If the athletes accept the responsibilities of being on the U.S. Ski Team, then yes, they’ll be named to the team, which will happen this fall,” said Doug Haney, spokesman for the U.S. Ski Team.Ski and Snowboard Club Vail Director of Program Development Nigel Cooper said the club is very proud.”Ski & Snowboard Club Vail is proud of our close association with U.S. Ski Team veterans Schleper and Vonn, the coming of age of Ghent and Gregorak and the excitement of the two new young guns Irwin and Moltzan,” Cooper said. “None of what we do is possible without the support of the community, sponsors, donors and staff, but the real credit is due to the hard work and dedication of these athletes and their coaches such as Dan Stripp.”Irwin is elated – she has wanted this her entire ski career, which has lasted for about half of her life.”It’s exciting for my goals and dreams to be coming true,” Irwin said. “Everybody wants to make the U.S. Ski Team and go up from there.”Moltzan has dreamed about making the team since she was a little girl, too.”Since I was 4, I’ve always wanted to be part of it, so it’s kind of awesome,” Moltzan said. Moltzan, who moved to Vail from Minnesota last August to attend the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy, had been working toward making the U.S. Ski Team this season, but suffered an injury at the end of the year and worried it could set her back.”I’m super happy – I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about it,” Moltzan said. Both girls were nominated to the U.S. Alpine Development Team, or D Team. Irwin said the goal now is to make the C Team, B Team and A Team someday, and eventually race World Cup events. Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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