WARREN, Vt. – The Winter Olympics begin in South Korea on Thursday, Feb. 8. I absolutely love the Olympics – both winter and summer – though winter may be my favorite. I was on my honeymoon in Bora Bora during the past summer Olympics. Though my wife and I were in one of the most beautiful places in the world, we found ourselves, at the bar and in our hotel room, tuning in daily to watch the best athletes from each country perform sports such as swimming, running, or basketball. It was pretty cool to see the valley’s own Laura Graves win an Olympic bronze in the team dressage competition.
You can bet we’ll be showing the winter Olympics at our bars and restaurants around the Sugarbush Resort. You’ll find me there. This is a particularly big Olympics for our little state. This winter, we’re lucky enough to see 13 Vermonters heading to Pyeongchang, and more again have ties to Vermont schools. That list includes U.S. Ski and Snowboard team member Nolan Kasper, a Warren native and former Sugarbush-sponsored athlete.
Our local ski academy, Green Mountain Valley School, has long been known as an elite training ground for future Olympic skiers. Over 20 graduates of GMVS have gone on to ski at the Olympic level. GMVS sophomore Arabella Ng will be the lone representative in this winter games for Hong Kong – look for her carrying the flag during the Opening Ceremonies. Thomas Walsh, a GMVS alum, will be representing the U.S. at the Para Olympics. Recent GMVS grad and Sugarbush-sponsored athlete, Drew Duffy, continues to make strides on the U.S. Ski Team, and just competed in the World Cup Lauberhorn in Wengen, Switzerland. GMVS graduate AJ Ginnis is a current U.S. Ski and Snowboard team member. Graduate Jimmy Krupka and current student Ben Ritchie are both competing on the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s National Training Group (NTG). And GMVS grad Doug Lewis, who competed in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, will be announcing the Olympics for NBC Radio in South Korea next week.
Training for athletes at this high level requires dedication and funding. Here’s a way to contribute to Jimmy and Ben’s NTG success, or to support GMVS as they continue to foster world-class skiers. Go to www.usskiteamntg.com.
The valley churns out some pretty incredible skiers. Lucky for us, some of them will be on display during the biggest athletic event in the world. I look forward to cheering on our Vermonters in the upcoming weeks.
See you on the mountain.
Article written by John Bleh, the communications manager at Sugarbush Resort.