Let’s just say you were about to head off to Beijing to compete in the pinnacle experience of your snowsports career. Where might you spend those last few days of training in preparation for this monumental life event? For U.S. Alpine Ski Team members River Radamus and Tommy Ford, the answer was Golden Peak at Vail Mountain in Vail, Colorado training alongside Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes on home turf. With a cold, dry climate creating grippy surface conditions, Golden Peak proved to be a perfect place to simulate the snow conditions that lie ahead for Radamus and Ford at the Winter Games in Beijing, China the next few weeks.
For Vail Valley local Radamus, it was a particularly special moment to come full circle and be back at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail training on his home mountain where things all began before making the National team during high school.
Radamus stated, “The training at Golden Peak proved to be just what we were looking for.” Ford concurred, stating, “The venue was awesome. SSCV did a great job with it, making for really responsive, nicely manicured terrain.”
When asked his thoughts on heading off to Beijing for his first appearance on the world-wide stage that every young ski racer dreams of, Radamus stated, “This is pretty cool and not something I ever counted on. The hard work paid off and I am looking forward to competing against the best in the world. I owe it to the coaches who helped me along the way.”
For Ford, a veteran of this world stage, he stated, “I am looking forward to my third time competing at this level. I am so grateful to be selected after returning from injury and to be back in this special atmosphere which brings people together.”
It has been a hectic couple weeks for Radamus and Ford with a lot to be taken care of in order to enter China and the competition bubble, not the least of which has been avoiding any chance of contracting COVID. Both were grateful for those working around the clock to make this possible. A few short days and they are on their way.
“We’re thrilled to have these outstanding athletes prepare for the largest stage in sports here at Vail Mountain,” said Vail Mountain Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Beth Howard. “Everyone at Vail Mountain is cheering on Team USA and can’t wait to watch River, Tommy and all of the US Athletes compete.”
SSCV Alpine Program Director Brad Wall, a former Olympian and World Cup athlete for his homeland of Australia, as well as a Dartmouth graduate and NCAA National Slalom Champion, stated, “SSCV athletes looked on with awe and admiration as River and Tommy trained on the Golden Peak and booted up and cooled down on the SSCV Clubhouse Patio alongside them.”
“It was amazing to leave the U.S. Ski Team course overnight and for SSCV FIS athletes to train on the exact same course the next day. The ability to watch Tommy’s and River’s video side by side against an athlete’s own video on the same track is an incredible learning opportunity.”
“For these athletes to have the added inspiration of knowing that River was once a young athlete at SSCV just like them training on the very same hill with a dream to someday make the U.S. Ski Team, win a World Cup start and be in the Olympics, is the magic that helps make these dreams a reality, reaffirming anything is possible. We could not have been more excited for River and Tommy to join us this past week and we wish them the very best in Beijing!”