Stratton Mountain, Vt. - Stratton Mountain School (SMS) senior Heather Mooney (Peru, VT), junior Patrick Caldwell, (Lyme Center, NH) and freshman Piera Hudson (Hawkes Bay, New Zealand) have been invited to participate in the first-ever Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria January 13 – 22, 2012. Only two kids are chosen from the entire country, one girl and one boy, and Mooney and Caldwell were the ones selected to compete for the United States in cross country skiing. Hudson will represent her home country of New Zealand in alpine skiing at the games.
“This is a great honor for Heather and Paddy,” said SMS Nordic Program Director Sverre Caldwell. “It will really give them a sense of the level of international competition that is out there, and I believe they are up for the challenge.”
The U.S. Cross Country Team Nordic Program Director John Farra invited the SMS Nordic Team racers to this first international cross country skiing competition, which invites only one boy and one girl from the entire United States.
The competition is part of the U.S. Ski Team’s development program. Such world class skiers like U.S. Ski Team’s two-time Olympian Stacey Cook got their athletic skills boosted from U.S. Ski Team’s National Development Systems camp programs. Mooney has also been invited to participate in the National Team’s Training Group for her performance at World Junior Championships in Oteepa, Estonia last January.
SMS alumna Isabel Caldwell (SMS ’10) was also asked to join the National Training Group. Hudson competed in the Topolino Children’s Games in March and the Whistler Cup in April, the two most competitive competitions for J3 alpine racers in the world.