Vermont’s Winter Athletes Reign Supreme
After the historic and passionate show of events at the 2016 Audi FIS World Cup at Killington Resort last November, it should come as no surprise that Vermont continues to be a breeding ground for incredibly talented winter sport athletes. In fact, Vermont produces more Olympic athletes per capita than any other state in the country thanks to the abundance of world class winter sport academies that inhabit Vermont’s quaint mountain towns.
Take a look into Vermont’s rich history of ski and snowboard athletes and their home mountains:
Burke Mountain Resort
Not only does Burke Mountain hold the prestigious honor of hosting the first ski academy in the United States, but they also hold the honor of being the first named US Ski Team official training site. After 40 some plus years, Burke Mountain Academy is the leading ski racing academy in the country, having produced numerous national team members and Olympians along the way - the most recent being 2014 Olympic slalom gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin who is the reigning Olympic, World Cup and world champion in slalom. Shiffrin was the youngest slalom champion in Olympic alpine skiing history, at 18 years of age.
Killington Mountain School, in partnership with Killington Resort, is expanding its on-mountain training facilities to include a new four-season bag jump for year-round training near the base of the Superstar trail. Donna Weinbrecht, mogul maven of Killington, won the first Olympic Gold Medal awarded for mogul skiing at the 1992 Albertville Games and has won every accolade in her sport since. Killington will once again bring home some of the sport’s finest winter athletes during the 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Cup over Thanksgiving Weekend- expect to see athletes such as Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso and Mikaela Shiffrin.
Mad River Glen
Mad River Glen tends to attract some pretty accomplished skiers so it stands to reason that when these folks “go forth and multiply” their progeny tend to be pretty good themselves. Mad River Glen trained athletes like Lars and Silas Chickering-Ayers, are competing on the Freeskiing World Tour and have won numerous events and series titles. Mad River Glen Race team alumni Danny Duffy is a member of the US Ski Team and was the 2015 US National Super-G Champion.
Mount Snow Resort
With the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics on the horizon, Mount Snow guests and staff alike will be rooting on homegrown favorite Devin Logan as she looks to medal again in Women's Slopestyle, after taking home the first-ever Olympic Women’s Ski Slopestyle silver medal at the 2014 Olympics. On the snowboarding front, C-Team standout Storm Rowe had a breakout session at Snowboarder Mag Superpark, scoring invites to ride and compete during the offseason in Switzerland and New Zealand. He will surely be one to watch as he continues to dominate contests and video segments on the national and international stage this season.
Mountain Top Inn & Resort
Mountain Top Inn & Resort is proud to be the home training grounds for Chloe Levins. Chloe is a world class Team USA Biathlete. Chloe finished 18th in the 2015 Junior/Youth World Championships & 3rd in the 2015 Baltic Cup (Oestersund). Chloe competed in the Junior World Championships in both 2015 & 2016. Chloe is a student at Middlebury College.
Okemo Mountain Resort
Located in the village of Ludlow, VT, Okemo Mountain School (OMS) is a winter sports academy that offers a unique and challenging academic and athletic program in competitive alpine ski racing, freestyle skiing and snowboarding. One young athlete to watch, an OMS student that Okemo is feeling the love for, is Anna Valentine. From young shredder to junior world champion silver medalist, this Okemo Mountain senior is a model student and champion halfpipe rider who may be on her way to the next Olympics. Some noteworthy OMS alumni include Snowboarder Hannah Teter, Snowboarder Kevin Pearce, Snowboarder Danny Kass, Alpine Racer Julia Ford, Freeskier Jen Hudak and others.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Club (SNSC), headquartered at the base of Smugglers’ Notch Resort’s Sterling Mountain, has been the training ground for the ski careers of Olympians, National Team members, pro ski racers and college athletes since its 1959 founding. SNSC became a not-for-profit organization in 1975, and the club currently offers training and competitive opportunities in alpine skiing, freestyle skiing and snowboarding. The club’s Extreme Ski Challenge, hosted in March and now in its sixth year, attracts a full field of competitors ready to take on some of Smugglers’ gnarliest terrain as a qualifier for the Freeride World Tour.
Stowe Mountain Resort
Taylor Riley Walker (born March 3, 1997) is an American snowboarder, better known by her childhood nickname Ty Walker. Born in Smithtown, New York and living in Stowe since the age of 7, she competed for United States at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Later that year, Ty also won the first-ever World Cup for Women's Big Air in snowboarding, an event that will make its debut in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Ty currently attends Brown University as a member of the class of 2019 and calls Stowe home.
Stratton Mountain Resort
Stratton Mountain Resort’s Stratton Mountain School (SMS) has trained Olympians and US national team members for 40 years since becoming the first ski academy accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The curriculum combines the most comprehensive training programs in alpine and Nordic ski racing, free skiing and snowboarding with a strong tradition of college preparatory academics. Four Olympic medals, 37 Olympians and 93 national team athletes have called Stratton Mountain and SMS home, including snowboarders Danny Davis, Lindsey Jacobellis, Ross Powers, Nordic skier Andy Newell and most recently, Nordic World Cup champion Sophie Caldwell, who reigns as the only American woman to win a classic World Cup event.
Sugarbush is home to the Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS), a U.S. Ski Team High Performance Training Center. A world-class ski academy, GMVS’s alpine training program produces some of the finest ski racers in the country. GMVS has placed numerous athletes on the US Ski team since its inception in 1973 - including current team member Drew Duffy - many of whom obtained World Cup podium finishes and Olympic medals. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Famer John Egan is on-staff at Sugarbush and available for private lessons and cat skiing adventures.
Suicide Six Ski Area
Suicide Six is the home of Woodstock Ski Runners, the oldest ski club in the East. Founded in 1932, Ski Runners offers many alpine and cross country training programs that have produced Junior Olympic medalists and USSA State Championship medalists. They strive to foster a passion and lifelong love of winter sports and an active outdoor lifestyle while developing the life skills associated with success in all endeavors. A scholarship program is available to any child or young adult needing financial assistance. Suicide Six has a strong history of ski racing. The FISK Trophy Race, held each February, is the longest running FIS Slalom race in the US. Past winners of the FISK Cup include many U.S. Ski Team Members and Olympians.