You’re racing down a snow covered mountain with competitors at your back. Your skis slice through the snow. The wind whips. Your heart pounds. It’s just you and the finish line.
This may not be a reality for everyone when they ski, but it is for members of the WSU ski team.
The twenty-person team comprises men and women and competes against other colleges in the Pacific Northwest throughout the winter.
Even though the team can’t hit the slopes until winter, their commitment to the team and each other remains strong all year long. Several members of the team live together, and they spend all year working out, even if they’re not on the slopes.
Vice president Kelsi Lakey said ski team brings together people from all different walks of life. It’s the common love of skiing that brings everyone together, she said.
Lakey said bonding begins at the annual ski retreat the last week of winter break at Brundage Mountain Resort in McCall, Idaho.
“We are together for 24 hours a day, and that is where you really begin to bond with people,” Lakey said.
That week is spent on gate training and gaining race experience. This season, the group also celebrated New Year’s Eve on the mountain.
“It's great to see the camaraderie and passion for skiing bubble over when we're together,” team president Cristina Wilson said.
When the season starts, the team competes in eight total races, team treasurer Summer Holt said. Four are slalom and the other four are giant slalom, different types of ski races where the rider darts between a series of gates to reach the bottom.
The bond that develops from the common interest of skiing carries into races as well, Wilson said.
“We have all become really close friends, too,” Wilson said. “At races we support everyone and cheer for everyone, regardless of what team they come from.”
For more information, including details about next year’s tryouts, email the ski team at email@example.com.