U.S. Ski and Snowboard just named the full Olympic alpine team and Vermont is well represented. These five ski racers have all trained or grown up in the Green Mountains.
Tommy Biesemeyer, Lake Placid, NY, University of Vermont
An East Coaster by birth, Tommy Biesemeyer knows what it’s like to race on icy conditions. A product of the New York Ski Education Foundation, he started racing at Whiteface, but he quickly moved into to the U.S. Ski Team food chain, making his World Cup debut in 2011.
Try telling an alpine ski racer who specializes in speed to move slowly. It’s not easy. Tommy “BZ” Biesemeyer (Keene, NY) is no exception. After sustaining an ACL and MCL injury in 2014, Biesemeyer had to come to terms with the fact that he had pain that never really went away. Now, Biesemeyer has done the work and put in the time the right way: by moving slowly.
Claim to fame: 11th in super G at 2016 World Cup at Beaver Creek, Colo. 2011 Nor Am overall and super combined champion.
Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Cochran’s Ski Area/Mount Mansfield Ski Club, Westminster College,Starksboro, VT
“If Ryan Cochran-Siegle had any more racing blood in his veins, he’d have four hooves, a mane and tail, a saddle on his back, and a really cool nickname like Seabiscuit or Secretariat” Michael Masterciyan wrote about Cochran-Siegle on the FIS site. Son of Olympic gold medalist Barbara-Ann Cochran, Ryan is one of ski racing’s winningest families.
I’m most proud of him not for making the team but for how hard he’s worked and the perseverance that got him there,” said Barbara Ann. Ryan has come back from four knee surgeries and was the fourth man to make the alpine team, thanks to consistent World Cup finishes and a 6th and an 18th in the World Cup combined in Wengen, Switzerland on January 12, 2018. Watch for him in alpine combined and, possibly, GS.
Claim to fame: 2014 overall Nor Am champion.
Nolan Kasper, Burke Mountain Academy, Dartmouth, Warren, VT
Nolan Kasper, 29. may have grown up in New Jersey but as soon as his parents realized they had a ski racer on their hands, they decamped for the Mad River Valley of Vermont, where his parents still live. Kasper grew up skiing at Sugarbush, then went to Burke and, later Dartmouth. This will be his third Olympics and he qualified just under the wire by finishing 20th at the January 14, 2018, World Cup in Wengen. Kasper is one of the U.S. best hopes in slalom.
Claim to fame: 13th in Sochi Olympics in slalom in 2014; 2011 Europa Cup champion in slalom.
Mikaela Shiffrin, Burke Mountain Academy
We like to claim Mikeala Shiffrin, 22, as a Vermont skier (see The Woman to Watch). After all, she grew up just across the border in Hanover, NH and went to Burke Mountain Academy, which she graduated from in 2013. Not only that, after her parents move to Vail, Shiffrin missed Burke so much she came back and she still has family back east. In the Sochi Olympics, at just 18, Shiffrin won the gold in slalom and fifth in GS. In 2017/18 alone she has stood on World Cup podiums 16 times, 11 of those as the gold medalist, and has won in downhill and GS as well as slalom. In fact, of all her races, she’s only not podiumed six times. Expect her to compete in slalom, GS and pretty much anything else she wants to.
Claim to fame: Overall World Cup champion in slalom and current leader overall in all World Cup points. Gold medal in Sochi Olympics in slalom.
Andrew Weibrecht , Burke Mountain Academy, Dartmouth
Andrew Weibrecht’s parents own the Cottage Caf, a small hotel in Lake Placid, Cottage Caf, and he grew up racing fast, hard slopes of Whiteface. Weibrecht, 32, who has medaled in the last two Olympics, honed his skills at Burke Mountain Academy. Though Weibrecht has two Olympic medals to his name, he had yet to taste the World Cup podium until the 2016 season, grabbing his first Audi FIS Ski World Cup podiums at Birds of Prey (3rd) and the famed Kitzbuehel (2nd). For the 2017/18 season, Weibrecht’s best finish to date on the World Cup has been 21 at the Beaver Creek Birds of Prey super G in December, 2017
Claim to fame: two Olympic medals (silver in Sochi, bronze in Vancouver) in super G.
Based on reporting by US Ski and Snowboard
UpdateD our original list did not include Tommy Biesemeyer
The full list of the Alpine Team:
Opener: Ryan Cochran-Siegle at the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup race.