The U.S. Ski Team on Monday, January 27, officially announced its Olympic team for the upcoming games in Sochi, Russia, including three former or current Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation athletes. Also, a fourth Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation athlete will represent the U.S. Virgin Islands at the games.
Ski Education Foundation Communications Director Jody Zarkos said that snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington, 24, and Nordic skiers Simi Hamilton, 26, and Noah Hoffman, 24, will compete for the U.S. Ski Team. She said that Farrington grew up training with the Ski Education Foundation and is a current member of its Gold Team, which trains Olympic athletes and hopefuls. Zarkos said that Hamilton trained with the Gold Team from 2009-13 and and Hoffman trained as a high school post graduate with the Ski Education Foundation from 2008-09, though they no longer reside in the Wood River Valley.
Zarkos also said that alpine ski racer Jasmine Campbell, who grew up training with the Ski Education Foundation, will ski for the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“She’ll be the flag bearer for the Virgin Islands at the opening ceremony,” she said.
Zarkos also said that, though the U.S. Paralympic Ski Team has not yet been officially named, Nordic skier Jake Adicoff is likely to make the cut. She said that Adicoff, who is visually impaired, grew up training with the Ski Education Foundation and skis with guide Reid Pletcher, who also grew up training with the program.
“We have every indication that Jake will compete in the biathlon and cross-country events,” she said.
The Paralympic team is expected to officially announce its roster by the end of the month.
Zarkos said that the Wood River valley will also send a few coaches to the U.S. Ski Team for the games. Chris Grover, the first Gold Team coach from 2005-06, will be the team’s head coach. Biche Rudigoz will coach the U.S. Men’s Skier Cross Team and Ben Verge will coach the U.S. Free Ski Team. Both Rudigoz and Verge grew up training with the Ski Education Foundation.
She also said that Curtis Bacca, owner of the Wax Room in Ketchum will go to the games as the personal wax technician for U.S. snowboarders Lindsey Jacobellis and Seth Wescott.
“This will be his fifth consecutive Olympics as a wax tech.,” she said. “That’s pretty impressive.”
The Wood River Valley will also send hockey player Hilary Knight, 24, to the games. She will compete for the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team.
“The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation is proud of all our athletes,” Zarkos said. “Going to the Olympics is the culmination of so many hours of work and training and sacrifice. For them to reach their goal like this is an amazing accomplishment. We’re super proud of them and impressed with their fortitude.”