Edit Module

The Nordic Character

An individual sport that builds a community

(page 4 of 4)


Sun Valley’s Nordic stars, in their own words






Born: 5/13/1986, Bend, Oregon 
High School: The Community School, ’04
College: some, but currently focused on skiing 
Age started with SVSEF: 16
Current Team: U.S. Ski Team   Career Highs: Third-ranked woman in the U.S.; three-time U.S. Junior Champion; four-time silver medalist at U.S. Senior Nationals
“Seven years ago, I had no idea what cross-country skiing was—it’s hard to believe how much it means to me now. I owe so much of my success to one person and one organization: Rick Kapala and the SVSEF. A good coach is a dime a dozen, but a great coach, someone who makes you want to be better every day, is one in a million. My first encounter with Rick was similar to every newbie on the ski team: ‘Get your shoes on, let’s go,’ he said. It’s now my job to train and race hard, to push my body to the limits, travel to some of the world’s most amazing venues (and to some of the least desirable ones) and make them my home. It’s not always easy, but I know that Rick would tell me nothing is impossible or impassable. I do this sport because I love it—the need to realize my potential pushes me daily. None of this would be attainable without the support system I have.”


NORDIC NEWS: Morgan Arritola officially named to US Nordic Ski Team.




Born: 09/28/1988, Sun Valley  
High School: Wood River High School, ’07
College: University of Colorado  Age Joined SVSEF: 9
Current Team: University of Colorado Ski Team
Career Highs: World Junior Championships; skied in first World Cup in 2008
“The SVSEF is the most organized, well-developed team for junior skiers. We train every day and push each other to the limit. The team is very competitive, and each athlete becomes competitive inside and outside the team. You know if you put the work into meeting your goals, you can achieve your dreams. We set high goals and work hard to achieve them.”



Born: 05/25/1991, Seattle
High School: Wood River High School senior
Age Joined SVSEF: 11
Career Highs: International Scandinavian Series Silver medal;
U.S. Junior Championships
“The Nordic Ski Team builds strong, confident, generous human beings. It goes way beyond sport. I have been on the team for five years. In that time, I have climbed the tallest mountains in North America, hiked across the largest wilderness area in the lower-48, ridden my bike up incredible mountain passes and skied at multiple Olympic venues in both the U.S. and Norway. Rick gets it. I can honestly say that all successes I have had in school and sports have stemmed from lessons and ethics I have learned from the program. It is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.”



Born: 08/13/1988, Sun Valley  
High School: Wood River High School, ’07
College: University of Colorado  Age Joined SVSEF:
Current Team: U.S. Ski Team
Career Highs: Youngest ever U.S. National Champion at age 18, 2006; U.S. Junior Nationals Champion
“SVSEF has been my life since I was young. It has taught me how to live an active life, both physically and mentally. Today I am a member of the U.S. Ski Team and the University of Colorado Ski Team in Boulder. I have traveled to France, Italy and Slovenia to compete internationally for the World Juniors and U23 Championship teams for the past four years. If it wasn’t for the strong foundation that the SVSEF built for me over 13 years, I could never have been who I am today, both as an athlete and a person.”





Born: 01/23/1985, Sun Valley  
High School: Wood River High School, ’03
College: Dartmouth, ’07  Age started in SVSEF: 7
Current Team: SVSEF Olympic Development Team 
Career Highs: U.S. Junior Champion; four World Cup starts: bronze medal in team sprint, silver medal in 30km; U.S. Nationals, 2008; Noquemanon ski marathon winner, 2009; Won SuperTour, 2009; Boulder Mountain Tour winner; Dartmouth College Ski Team captain, NCAA champion and All-American.
“We have perhaps the finest coach in the nation, world-class trails and a training center that surpasses that of most colleges. But the program is more than just skiing: It’s history, it’s friendship, it’s hard work and the rewards that follow. It’s having the strength to attack the impossible, it’s learning to be a human, it’s learning to have a zeal for life. The ski team was, and continues to be, my world. I believe that is what makes SVSEF both successful in the snow and in the community. The program has a tested reputation and tradition for teaching kids what life is all about, and how to make the most of it. Kids have fun on the team and love it; that just makes them want to ski faster and harder. The personal aspect is what fuels the athletic drive.”



Sun Valley Magazine encourages its readers to post thoughtful and respectful comments on all of our online stories. Your comments may be edited for length and language.

Jan 4, 2010 04:50 pm
 Posted by  Sun Valley Magazine

Congrats to SVSEF and Simi Hamilton. Hamilton, an XC ODT skier, won the US National Championship Freestyle Sprint race!

Add your comment:

Subscribe Today!

Edit Module
Edit Module