Although summer is here, the elite competitors comprising the U.S. Ski Team never really have an “off season” from their winter sports. Whether its training on water ramps, or working out in the gym, these athletes remain students of the sport year-round. However, some of these team members are making more literal use of the term “student” this summer through the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association educational partnership with Westminster College. The program allows many U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Ski Jumping athletes to study on an athlete friendly schedule.
With a wide range of fields of study, the 24 ski and snowboarding athletes and alumni are taking full advantage of the educational opportunity the USSA and Westminster provides. While many athletes focus on “right now,” the partnership between the organization and the school allow for the athletes to prepare for the future and life after competition.
“Taking classes at Westminster is incredibly easy to balance with my training schedule and it was amazing how simple it was to enroll, said 2010 Olympian Hailey Duke. Westminster takes such great care of us on all levels and basically makes everything work for our needs.”
“The summer classes allow me to shift gears a little and concentrate on something other than my jumping. It helps me to stay focused and well balanced throughout the year,” said U.S. ski jumper Alissa Johnson. “The faculty at Westminster is very understanding of each student’s personal needs allowing for a more intimate class room experience.”
Westminster provides a convenient schedule, allowing time for both training and academics. The summer is an important time for the elite winter sport athlete. While everyone else is thinking warm thoughts, they are flying to winter training and preparing for the upcoming season. With not much free time in their schedules, Westminster College has made it possible for them to pursue their career now and plan for their career in the future.
“Westminster not only offers an opportunity to find the balance many athletes lack in their lives between physical and mental stimulation, but does so in a way that becomes much more readily available than others,” said U.S. Snowboarding’s Graham Watanabe. “Basically, a stone’s throw away from our headquarters ski and snowboard athletes can train and take classes, in the same day, without inconvenience of travel or distance communication.”
As summer continues the athletes will continue to attend classes. Many of the summer school athletes will be heading off to on-snow camps around the world. They will take a break from their academic endeavors for the winter season, rejoining Westminster College in the spring or early summer in their respective studies.
“Westminster’s ratio of students to teachers is a balance that caters to personal attention and involved, comprehensive studies. Settle those attributes at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, and you have a recipe for an unparalleled educational facility,” said Watanabe.
Westminster College Summer Students
Hailey Duke, Boise, ID*
Travis Ganong, Olympic Valley, CA
Leanne Smith, Conway, NH*
Megan McJames, Park City, UT*
Alice McKennis, Glenwood Springs, CO*
Andrew Phillips, Sandy, UT
Laurenne Ross, Klamath Falls, OR
Eric Camerota, Park City, UT
William Graves, Putney, VT
Skyler Keate, Salt Lake City, UT
Elizabeth Stephen, East Montpelier, VT*
Lacy Schnoor, Draper, UT*
Jana Lindsey, Black Hawk, SD*
Ryan St. Onge, Winter Park, CO*
Allison Treleaven, Fort Wayne, IN
Timothy Massucco, East Otis, MA
Holt Haga, Boise, ID
Avery Arovino, Park City, UT
Alissa Johnson, Park City, UT
Elizabeth Beerman, Weston, VT
Dylan Bidez, Minturn, CO
Lindsay Lloyd, Salt Lake City, UT
Graham Watanabe, Ketchum, ID*
Victor Wild, White Salmon, WA*
* Denotes Olympian