When many people think of Olympic skiers and where they come from, the slate is fairly blank. Growing up, these athletes don’t compete in front of crowds or perform at big-name sports colleges, or even recognizable minor-league systems. Their spectators are mostly parents who stand at the finish hopping from foot to foot.
They might come from out west, the Rockies, where the whole world seems created for winter sports. But check out the ski squad the U.S. will be sending to South Korea this month, and you’ll find plenty of New Englanders, kids you see at any ski area, flickering through gates or getting air in the terrain parks. Some go off to one of the many ski academies in the Northeast, and many go to significant college ski teams, competing for the ultimate prize, a national championship.
Here are some of the prime contenders for U.S. Olympic ski and snowboard team selections for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.
Mikaela Shiffrin will lead the U.S. alpine team along with Lindsey Vonn. Just 22, Shiffrin, one of the leading skiers in the history of the team, was a student at Burke Mountain Academy before she left New England for Vail, Colorado.