Custom Class: post-landing-hero

Lauren Samuels ’11—a Rowland Hall graduate who competed for Rowmark Ski Academy her senior year and two postgraduate years—served as the youngest panelist on a July 15 US Ski & Snowboard virtual discussion on how to remedy the glaring lack of racial diversity in snowsports.

Lauren, who identifies as Black and multiracial, spoke candidly about how systemic racism and discrimination impacted her skiing career, and how the industry might better foster a love of skiing among people from more diverse backgrounds. Excerpts featuring Lauren—a newly named member of the US Ski & Snowboard’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee—are transcribed below. 

Though the COVID-19 outbreak cut the 2019–2020 ski season short, Rowmark was grateful to have Lauren return (if only briefly) in a new capacity: FIS assistant coach and academic liaison. This fall, she’ll head to the University of Oregon to start a graduate program in sports product management, and plans to pursue a career in the outdoor industry.

Lauren has a rich history in ski racing. While enrolled in Rowmark, she spent much of each season traveling as an invitee with the US Ski Team. She’s a J2 National Super-G champion who also raced in the US Nationals and World Juniors championships. After Rowmark, she attended the University of Utah and competed as a member of their prestigious alpine ski team. She captained the team her senior year when the Utes won the 2017 NCAA National Championship.

We’re proud to call Lauren an alum, and we'll be referencing and building on discussions like this one as we redouble our commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and antiracist work.

Lauren Samuels ’11 ski racing

Lauren Samuels ’11 ski racing for Rowmark in Park City back in January 2012.

Transcription of Excerpts Featuring Lauren

In addition to Lauren, these excerpts feature moderator Henri Rivers, the president of National Brotherhood of Skiers and the CEO, president, and founder of Drumriver Consultants; and Forrest King-Shaw, a coach and staff trainer at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows Teams.

[49:28]

Not until I joined the National Brotherhood of Skiers and went to my first summit did I see another skier of color besides my dad and my brother.

Henri Rivers: Lauren, I’m going to go to you first. And I really want you to be honest with us. Has racism and discrimination altered or shortened your career as an athlete?

Lauren Samuels: This question is hard to answer. Altered, absolutely. Shortened, possibly. 

Henri: I don’t want to put you on the spot like that because I understand where you’re coming from, I do. If you want to answer, you can, but we could rephrase it.

Lauren: I’m open to speak about it, it’s just tough to talk about. But I would say in regards to altering, it’s more what Schone and you, Henri, spoke about. I was already exposed to skiing because of family. I grew up skiing, learned how to ski when I was two. But once I got into the more—I mean really, even at the grassroots level, my home club, not seeing other people who looked like me, [having] that lack of comfort and support. And I was lucky to be involved with NBS, the National Brotherhood of Skiers, from a young age, where we had other athletes who were older than me and better than me that I could look up to. But not until I joined NBS and went to my first summit did I see another skier or ski racer of color besides my dad and my brother. In the topic of shortening my career, again, that’s hard to say, but I think possibly that shortened my career. 

I had the highest vertical jump on record when I tested at 15 years old on the development team and immediately I was told, ‘That's just because you're Black.’

Some language I was faced with at any level, specific stories with the US Ski Team, being disrespected or being told that I wasn't working hard enough even though I would show up to our physical testing and break records. I had the highest vertical jump on record when I tested at 15 years old on the development team and immediately I was told, “That's just because you’re Black.” And then I continued on, [being told] I'm not working hard enough, but my fitness and everything shows that I am working hard enough. These are things that, that’s racist language—as much as no one said I’m not working hard enough or it’s just because I’m Black that [I’m] not making it to the next step. But I do believe there is some ingrained racism in our sport, and in the people in our sport, and in the highest levels as well.

Henri: It’s hard to even comment on that because I’ve watched you grow up. I’ve watched you as such a spectacular racer and I'm really sorry to hear that you had to go through that. Do you think having coaches—and I know it’s also a gender thing as well—but do you think that having coaches (male and female) of color would have helped you adjust to some of the things that you were exposed to?

I was told I had to braid my hair to ski downhill because it's the fastest, most aerodynamic style. Maybe if I had a coach who had an experience similar to mine, they would've come up with other ideas or not judge me for not braiding my hair.

Lauren: Yeah, I think it's more, again, about that comfort and belonging there. There comes a big relief, at least on my shoulders, when there’s another person of color on the hill that day. And it’s as minor as that: I know there’s someone else here who will stick up for me or speak out if something does happen or go that way. And same with being able to relate on other things. My hair: I can't braid my hair—it doesn't really braid—but I was told I had to braid my hair to ski downhill because it's the fastest, most aerodynamic [style]. Well, maybe if I had a coach who had that experience similar to me, they would come up with other ideas or not judge me so hard for not braiding my hair. It's things like that that I think a coach of color and female would help with, but I don't even want to say that it has to be a Black coach or look exactly like me. Does that answer your question?

Henri: Yeah, it does. Wow, you know, I take a deep breath because you know I have young racers as well and they will start experiencing those things. That is why we’re here, that is why we’re having this discussion, so that we can stop this type of thinking and these thought processes because they are unfounded, they’re unnecessary, and they hurt young people. Lauren is a young racer that should not have to experience these things. But this is what we continually do year after year after year. We need to stop the cycle. Forrest, my question for you, same question I had for Lauren. Has racism or discrimination altered or shortened your career (I know it has) with [US Ski & Snowboard or Professional Ski Instructors of America]?

Forrest King-Shaw: Well, it hasn’t shortened my career, that's for sure. It’s altered it, oh, absolutely. And before we go too deep into this I wanted to comment on a couple of things Lauren said. I have two daughters that ski race and if you knew the discussions I had with them about helmets, that was something I had to figure out. I'm a man and had to learn how to be a better man by raising daughters. So I think there’s a parallel here. You don’t have to be in our circumstance. You don't have to be whatever gender or whatever ethnicity to be better at understanding what people have to carry.

Getting more kids and athletes from all aspects of diversity will expand our talent pool and make it better.

[1:06:46] 

Henri: Lauren, what do you think the US Ski Team or [US Ski & Snowboard] can do to develop more athletes of color? Have you ever thought about that? Is there anything that you think they could do a little different that would help attract or bring in—you know, that’s a hard question to ask because the snow industry, it’s a difficult sport to get into, but what do you think? Have you ever had any thoughts about that?

Lauren: Yeah, I’m going to kind of piggyback on what Forrest said about how it’s the outward-facing portion of your association, your organization, and that outreach, and partnerships with organizations like Winter4Kids and with [Share Winter Foundation]. I’m going to speak about one that I know purely off of location, it’s within a mile of my house: the Loppet Foundation. They are getting kids from inner city Minneapolis out skiing and on the snow, and they focus on nordic skiing. And I think starting at that grassroots level is really, really important. And like Forrest said, if your first experience isn't great, you're not coming back. But this is more about getting the new athlete, the new member, to love skiing in one way or another. If they dont love skiing they're not going to work their way up and be a coach. Or even at a later age, if you get exposed to skiing when you're 20, 30, whatever it is, if you don't love it, you're not going to stay involved in the sport. And again, really, it's a lot of the same as [what Forrest said]. That interaction between the elite level and the younger or less elite level, between the current athletes on the US Ski Team and reaching out and connecting with those younger kids. Or even coaches, newer coaches to the sport, feeling like you matter, feeling like you can make it to that next level, to that next step, whatever it is. It doesn't have to be the elite track, but it can be. And I don't think that should be disregarded that getting more kids and athletes from all aspects of diversity will, one, expand our talent pool, and make it better.

rowmark

Alum Lauren Samuels Lends Voice to US Ski & Snowboard Panel on Racial Diversity in Snowsports

Lauren Samuels ’11—a Rowland Hall graduate who competed for Rowmark Ski Academy her senior year and two postgraduate years—served as the youngest panelist on a July 15 US Ski & Snowboard virtual discussion on how to remedy the glaring lack of racial diversity in snowsports.

Lauren, who identifies as Black and multiracial, spoke candidly about how systemic racism and discrimination impacted her skiing career, and how the industry might better foster a love of skiing among people from more diverse backgrounds. Excerpts featuring Lauren—a newly named member of the US Ski & Snowboard’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee—are transcribed below. 

Though the COVID-19 outbreak cut the 2019–2020 ski season short, Rowmark was grateful to have Lauren return (if only briefly) in a new capacity: FIS assistant coach and academic liaison. This fall, she’ll head to the University of Oregon to start a graduate program in sports product management, and plans to pursue a career in the outdoor industry.

Lauren has a rich history in ski racing. While enrolled in Rowmark, she spent much of each season traveling as an invitee with the US Ski Team. She’s a J2 National Super-G champion who also raced in the US Nationals and World Juniors championships. After Rowmark, she attended the University of Utah and competed as a member of their prestigious alpine ski team. She captained the team her senior year when the Utes won the 2017 NCAA National Championship.

We’re proud to call Lauren an alum, and we'll be referencing and building on discussions like this one as we redouble our commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and antiracist work.

Lauren Samuels ’11 ski racing

Lauren Samuels ’11 ski racing for Rowmark in Park City back in January 2012.

Transcription of Excerpts Featuring Lauren

In addition to Lauren, these excerpts feature moderator Henri Rivers, the president of National Brotherhood of Skiers and the CEO, president, and founder of Drumriver Consultants; and Forrest King-Shaw, a coach and staff trainer at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows Teams.

[49:28]

Not until I joined the National Brotherhood of Skiers and went to my first summit did I see another skier of color besides my dad and my brother.

Henri Rivers: Lauren, I’m going to go to you first. And I really want you to be honest with us. Has racism and discrimination altered or shortened your career as an athlete?

Lauren Samuels: This question is hard to answer. Altered, absolutely. Shortened, possibly. 

Henri: I don’t want to put you on the spot like that because I understand where you’re coming from, I do. If you want to answer, you can, but we could rephrase it.

Lauren: I’m open to speak about it, it’s just tough to talk about. But I would say in regards to altering, it’s more what Schone and you, Henri, spoke about. I was already exposed to skiing because of family. I grew up skiing, learned how to ski when I was two. But once I got into the more—I mean really, even at the grassroots level, my home club, not seeing other people who looked like me, [having] that lack of comfort and support. And I was lucky to be involved with NBS, the National Brotherhood of Skiers, from a young age, where we had other athletes who were older than me and better than me that I could look up to. But not until I joined NBS and went to my first summit did I see another skier or ski racer of color besides my dad and my brother. In the topic of shortening my career, again, that’s hard to say, but I think possibly that shortened my career. 

I had the highest vertical jump on record when I tested at 15 years old on the development team and immediately I was told, ‘That's just because you're Black.’

Some language I was faced with at any level, specific stories with the US Ski Team, being disrespected or being told that I wasn't working hard enough even though I would show up to our physical testing and break records. I had the highest vertical jump on record when I tested at 15 years old on the development team and immediately I was told, “That's just because you’re Black.” And then I continued on, [being told] I'm not working hard enough, but my fitness and everything shows that I am working hard enough. These are things that, that’s racist language—as much as no one said I’m not working hard enough or it’s just because I’m Black that [I’m] not making it to the next step. But I do believe there is some ingrained racism in our sport, and in the people in our sport, and in the highest levels as well.

Henri: It’s hard to even comment on that because I’ve watched you grow up. I’ve watched you as such a spectacular racer and I'm really sorry to hear that you had to go through that. Do you think having coaches—and I know it’s also a gender thing as well—but do you think that having coaches (male and female) of color would have helped you adjust to some of the things that you were exposed to?

I was told I had to braid my hair to ski downhill because it's the fastest, most aerodynamic style. Maybe if I had a coach who had an experience similar to mine, they would've come up with other ideas or not judge me for not braiding my hair.

Lauren: Yeah, I think it's more, again, about that comfort and belonging there. There comes a big relief, at least on my shoulders, when there’s another person of color on the hill that day. And it’s as minor as that: I know there’s someone else here who will stick up for me or speak out if something does happen or go that way. And same with being able to relate on other things. My hair: I can't braid my hair—it doesn't really braid—but I was told I had to braid my hair to ski downhill because it's the fastest, most aerodynamic [style]. Well, maybe if I had a coach who had that experience similar to me, they would come up with other ideas or not judge me so hard for not braiding my hair. It's things like that that I think a coach of color and female would help with, but I don't even want to say that it has to be a Black coach or look exactly like me. Does that answer your question?

Henri: Yeah, it does. Wow, you know, I take a deep breath because you know I have young racers as well and they will start experiencing those things. That is why we’re here, that is why we’re having this discussion, so that we can stop this type of thinking and these thought processes because they are unfounded, they’re unnecessary, and they hurt young people. Lauren is a young racer that should not have to experience these things. But this is what we continually do year after year after year. We need to stop the cycle. Forrest, my question for you, same question I had for Lauren. Has racism or discrimination altered or shortened your career (I know it has) with [US Ski & Snowboard or Professional Ski Instructors of America]?

Forrest King-Shaw: Well, it hasn’t shortened my career, that's for sure. It’s altered it, oh, absolutely. And before we go too deep into this I wanted to comment on a couple of things Lauren said. I have two daughters that ski race and if you knew the discussions I had with them about helmets, that was something I had to figure out. I'm a man and had to learn how to be a better man by raising daughters. So I think there’s a parallel here. You don’t have to be in our circumstance. You don't have to be whatever gender or whatever ethnicity to be better at understanding what people have to carry.

Getting more kids and athletes from all aspects of diversity will expand our talent pool and make it better.

[1:06:46] 

Henri: Lauren, what do you think the US Ski Team or [US Ski & Snowboard] can do to develop more athletes of color? Have you ever thought about that? Is there anything that you think they could do a little different that would help attract or bring in—you know, that’s a hard question to ask because the snow industry, it’s a difficult sport to get into, but what do you think? Have you ever had any thoughts about that?

Lauren: Yeah, I’m going to kind of piggyback on what Forrest said about how it’s the outward-facing portion of your association, your organization, and that outreach, and partnerships with organizations like Winter4Kids and with [Share Winter Foundation]. I’m going to speak about one that I know purely off of location, it’s within a mile of my house: the Loppet Foundation. They are getting kids from inner city Minneapolis out skiing and on the snow, and they focus on nordic skiing. And I think starting at that grassroots level is really, really important. And like Forrest said, if your first experience isn't great, you're not coming back. But this is more about getting the new athlete, the new member, to love skiing in one way or another. If they dont love skiing they're not going to work their way up and be a coach. Or even at a later age, if you get exposed to skiing when you're 20, 30, whatever it is, if you don't love it, you're not going to stay involved in the sport. And again, really, it's a lot of the same as [what Forrest said]. That interaction between the elite level and the younger or less elite level, between the current athletes on the US Ski Team and reaching out and connecting with those younger kids. Or even coaches, newer coaches to the sport, feeling like you matter, feeling like you can make it to that next level, to that next step, whatever it is. It doesn't have to be the elite track, but it can be. And I don't think that should be disregarded that getting more kids and athletes from all aspects of diversity will, one, expand our talent pool, and make it better.

rowmark

Explore More Rowmark Stories

Rowmarker Mary Bocock verbally commits to ski for NCAA Division 1 Dartmouth College.

At only 18 years old, Rowmarker Mary Bocock has already had an impressive skiing career.

In addition to her achievements as a top Rowmark Ski Academy athlete, Mary had the chance to compete with the US Ski & Snowboard Team in Europe in January 2021, an opportunity that led to her first nomination to the US Alpine Ski Team later that year. Earlier this month, she was nominated to the US Ski Team for a second time. And prior to sustaining a knee injury in December, Mary was ranked first in super-G, third in giant slalom, and eighth in slalom in the United States for her age.

Mary will soon add another achievement to her resume—college athlete—when she joins the Dartmouth College women’s ski team next year. She plans to enroll as a first-year student in fall 2023, after taking a gap year to continue her healing and focus on her commitment to the US Ski Team before she dives back into a routine of balancing school, training, and racing.

“Joining the Dartmouth ski team has been one of my athletic goals since I started thinking about colleges,” said Mary, who long considered the Ivy League school not only because it offered a top ski program, but also because of its academic excellence.

“This is a great fit for Mary on all levels,” said Todd Brickson, Rowmark Ski Academy program director. “Dartmouth has a long history of developing world-class ski racers within their storied NCAA Division 1 ski team, in conjunction with their flexible academic structure and top-notch education.”

To celebrate Mary’s plan to attend Dartmouth, we asked her a few questions about her decision and her journey as a skier. The following interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.


When did you find out that you have a spot on Dartmouth's ski team? How did it feel to receive that news?

I started talking to the coach about a year and a half before I committed to skiing for him. I knew the coach was interested in me, but I knew that I shouldn’t get my hopes up because there could be other girls out there. So when he told me he wanted to offer me a spot in the fall of 2023, I felt relieved and excited that I didn’t have to worry about my college experience.

You'll be taking a gap year before heading to Dartmouth. Why did you make that choice?

I will be taking a gap year after I graduate in the spring so that I can focus on my commitment to the US Ski Team and take advantage of all the resources they provide. Throughout my whole racing career, I have always had to balance traveling and school, so I want to experience the sport without having to balance the stresses of high school alongside the pressure of performing well in races and traveling. The Dartmouth coach actually offered me a spot to start in the fall of 2022, but I decided that I want to take a year to mature as an athlete and really focus on racing to make the most of my opportunity with the US Ski Team.

You've been offered a spot on the Dartmouth team and you're on the US Ski Team—basically, you've achieved two of your dreams. While you can't know what lies ahead, how are you approaching these two amazing opportunities?

I feel very lucky to have these two incredible opportunities ahead of me. I am trying to stay present and not worry about how I will balance the two programs. I am just trying to take advantage of the places and lessons I am experiencing. I always try to not take anything for granted—especially after COVID—and make the most of my time traveling and exploring new mountains and countries.

Rowmarker and US Ski Team member Mary Bocock with Rowmark teammates.

Mary, left, with fellow Rowmarkers Carter Louchheim and Mary Clancy in January 2020.


Focusing on your time at Rowland Hall, what moment as a member of Rowmark are you most proud of?

I’ve had a lot of great experiences on Rowmark, so it’s hard for me to pick my favorite moment. But if I had to, I would say one of my favorite memories is when I won a GS [giant slalom] race in Breckenridge, Colorado, at the end of my junior year. It was that race that helped me lower my points enough to make criteria for the US Ski Team. When I came down and everyone was cheering for me, I was so excited that I couldn’t stop smiling. Then, a few minutes later, my coach came down and gave me a hug (which is rare because he’s not one for hugs), and I started to experience an overwhelming amount of emotions because it all felt real.

On the other side, some of the most memorable experiences from Rowmark have been off the snow. The conditioning/team bonding week is always a highlight of the year because the whole team comes together to compete with each other in a very cohesive way. Competition is one of my favorite aspects of ski racing, so I always have a lot of fun on the camping weekend when the whole trip is just filled with competition.

Tell us about the skills you built at Rowland Hall and on Rowmark that you'll be taking with you after graduation.

One of the most notable skills I’ve learned from being on Rowmark while attending a challenging high school is time management and communication. In order for me to keep up with my work while I’m gone, I have to be very diligent with letting my teachers know when I will be gone and updating them on my progress throughout my trips. My first few training camps with the US Ski Team have been very different compared to those with Rowmark because nobody else in my group is in school. I am the only one trying to keep up with classes while skiing at a high level. I have to find time to separate myself and sit down and do school work while my teammates do their other activities. However, I have actually started to really enjoy Zooming into my classes while I'm away on ski trips because it is an opportunity for me to take time off from thinking about skiing and still feel connected with my life at home.

Congratulations, Mary!

Athletics

Rowmark ski racer Elisabeth Bocock is one of the newest members of the US Ski Team.

Congratulations to junior Elisabeth Bocock, who this week was nominated to the US Ski Team.

Rowmark and US Ski Team ski racer Elisabeth Bocock

Elisabeth is one of 42 athletes nominated to the US Alpine Ski Team and one of three athletes who will be joining the women’s Development Team (D-Team) for the first time for the 2022–2023 competition season. (Athletes qualify for the team in the spring based on selection criteria, and the official team is announced in the fall once nominees complete physical fitness testing and medical department clearance.) She is the youngest addition to the D-Team and the only new member from the state of Utah.

“It was unreal,” said Elisabeth of the moment she received the call from US Ski Team Coach Chip Knight congratulating her on her season and confirming her place on the team. “It was what I’ve been hoping for basically my whole life.”

She’s not kidding. Thanks to her family’s love of skiing, Elisabeth has been involved with the sport for as long as she can remember: she clipped into her first pair of skis at age two, and some of her earliest memories include traveling with her family to Colorado to watch the World Cup—an experience that inspired her first dreams of joining the US Ski Team. “Seeing people on the team there was super exciting,” she remembered. “It made me want to be a part of that.”

It was unreal. It was what I’ve been hoping for basically my whole life.—Elisabeth Bocock, class of 2023, on being nominated to the US Ski Team

It also didn’t hurt that Elisabeth has three older siblings—brothers Scottie ’18 and Jimmy, and sister Mary—who were early naturals on the slopes and whose ski racing journeys inspired her own competitive drive. Elisabeth began racing for the Snowbird Ski Team at age six, and she joined Rowmark Ski Academy at age 13—a move she credits for preparing her to excel in both racing and academics, and where she’s had an exceptional career. In the 2021–2022 season alone, Elisabeth had five podium finishes in elite-level FIS races and is currently ranked first for her age in the US in slalom, giant slalom, and super-G, and second in the world in giant slalom.

“What is so impressive about Elisabeth objectively earning a spot on the US Ski Team is that her season was filled with setbacks,” said Foreste Peterson, Rowmark Ski Academy’s head women's FIS coach. “Whether it was having to quarantine from COVID exposures, or the many hard crashes she took that left her concussed, bloody, bruised, and banged up, she was knocked down time and time again. Yet, she bounced back every time, better than before, and always with a smile on her face. It was truly a pleasure to work with Elisabeth this year, and I so look forward to seeing what her future holds.”

And while Elisabeth’s riding the high of simply making the US Ski Team, she’s also enjoying an additional perk not available to every athlete in her position: the knowledge that this new experience will include her older sister (and role model), Mary, who was nominated to the US Ski Team last spring. “I’m super excited to work together in a different atmosphere,” said Elisabeth. “Mary’s been a real inspiration to me and has shown me what it takes to get to where I need to go.”

We can’t wait to see where she goes next. Congratulations, Elisabeth—we’ll be cheering you on!

Rowmark

Former Rowmarker Katie Hensien '18, who is competing at the Olympic Games this month.

We are proud of the Olympians representing Rowmark Ski Academy and Rowland Hall at this month's Olympic Games, which kick off February 4.

Since their earliest days on the mountain, these skiers have been on a journey toward athletic excellence. Being named to their countries’ Alpine ski teams is one of the highest honors of their careers, and represents hours of sacrifice and a steady commitment to intense training and competition.

While four of our former student-athletes qualified for the 2022 Olympics, two will be competing in Beijing this month.

“Unfortunately, Breezy Johnson and Madi Hoffman both sustained season-ending knee injuries while training for the Games and will not be able to compete,” said Todd Brickson, Rowmark Ski Academy program director. “Nevertheless, they qualified for the Olympics and we could not be more proud of Breezy and Madi. Injury is a common reality in our sport and the timing is devastating, but they will be back stronger than ever. Katie Hensien and Katie Vesterstein will carry the Rowmark Ski Academy and Rowland Hall torch, and we will be watching!”

To help the Rowland Hall community prepare to cheer on our former Rowmarkers at the Games, we have provided brief overviews of the Olympians below (as well as a throwback photo for each!).

Team USA: Katie Hensien ’18

Former Rowmarker and 2022 Alpine skiing Olympian Katie Hensien.

Katie Hensien graduated from Rowmark and Rowland Hall in 2018. She is a five-year member of the US Ski Team, and also currently skis for and attends the University of Denver. Katie is originally from Redmond, Washington, and will make her Olympic debut in Beijing. She is the 2020 national champion in giant slalom and was a part of the Junior World Championships team that won the silver medal in the team event in Val di Fassa, Italy.

“Katie is an incredible talent and hard worker, and is someone who always has a huge smile on her face,” said Todd. “She brings incredible energy and positive vibes into every room.”

Update February 9, 2022: Katie placed 26th in slalom.

Team Estonia: Kaitlyn (Katie) Vesterstein ’17

Former Rowmarker and 2022 Alpine skiing Olympian Katie Vesterstein.

Katie Vesterstein graduated from Rowmark and Rowland Hall in 2017. A native of Duluth, Minnesota, Katie is currently a senior at the University of Utah and an All-American member of the university’s national champion ski team. Katie is a dual citizen of the US and Estonia and will be representing Estonia at the Beijing Games.

“Katie is a fierce competitor and incredibly kind teammate who grew up ski racing on the small hills of Minnesota before joining Rowmark and Rowland Hall for two years and propelling herself onto the prestigious University of Utah ski team,” said Todd.

Update February 7, 2022: Katie placed 35th in giant slalom.

Update February 9, 2022: Due to a crash, Katie received a DNF in slalom.

Team Australia: Madison (Madi) Hoffman ’18 (Injured)

Former Rowmarker and 2022 Alpine skiing Olympian Madison Hoffman.

Madi Hoffman graduated from Rowmark and Rowland Hall in 2018. She has been a member of the Australian National Team for several years and is also a two-year member of the national champion University of Utah ski team. Madi is a three-time Australian National Champion in slalom and giant slalom, and was one of only two Aussie women to qualify for the 2022 Olympics in Alpine skiing. She had been preparing for this moment with her coach (and former Rowmark head coach) Jim Tschabrun for four years.

“Madi is one of the hardest working and thoughtful young women I have ever had the pleasure to coach,” said Todd. “Her unfortunate knee injury will keep her from competing in this Olympics, but she is a very determined, talented ski racer, and I have no doubt that she will be back stronger than ever."

Team USA: Breezy Johnson ’13 (Injured)

Former Rowmarker and 2022 Alpine skiing Olympian Breezy Johnson.

Breezy Johnson graduated from Rowmark and Rowland Hall in 2013. Originally from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Breezy joined the US Ski Team in 2014 and qualified for her first Olympic Games in 2018, where she placed seventh in downhill and 14th in super-G. Prior to her knee injury, Breezy was a clear medal contender after reeling off seven podium finishes and nine top-fives in her last 10 World Cup downhill races.

“In Breezy's time at Rowland Hall and Rowmark, she was incredibly determined and hardworking, both on the hill and in the classroom. At a young age Breezy had a very strong belief in herself and what was possible for her to achieve,” said Todd. “All I can say is that she is one of the world's best and she will be back with a vengeance.”

Schedule

Women’s Alpine skiing events begin on Monday, February 7. Check out the full Alpine skiing schedule for event information.

Help Us Cheer on the Athletes!

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for updates.


Banner: Katie Hensien competing for Rowmark Ski Academy.

Alumni

Ski racer Mary Bocock, who competes with Utah's Rowmark Ski Academy, has been nominated for the 2021–22 US Alpine Ski Team

Since the age of six, Rowland Hall junior—and passionate ski racer—Mary Bocock has had a big goal: to join the US Ski Team. That dream just came true.

I’ve wanted to be on the team ever since I started racing, so getting the call felt like I was achieving a goal I’d had for over 10 years.—Mary Bocock, class of 2022

On May 3, US Ski & Snowboard announced that 44 top national athletes, including Mary, have been nominated to the US Alpine Ski Team for the 2021–2022 competition season (athletes qualify based on published selection criteria in the prior season). Mary is one of only three new members of the women’s Development Team, also known as the D-Team; she’s also the youngest addition to that team and the only new member hailing from the state of Utah.

“When I got the call from [US Ski Team Coach] Chip Knight congratulating me on my nomination to the D-Team, I was overwhelmed with excitement,” said Mary. “I’ve wanted to be on the team ever since I started racing, so getting the call felt like I was achieving a goal I’d had for over 10 years. I am looking forward to skiing with a group of girls who push me and who know what it takes to be the best.”

Mary had a sensational 2020–2021 race season, which included a November 2020 US Nationals performance with Rowmark Ski Academy that earned her an invitation to compete with the US Ski Team in Europe. After placing in several races in Cortina, Italy, and Garmisch, Germany, in early 2021, Mary returned to the United States to finish the season: at the FIS Elite Races at Sugar Bowl Resort and Squaw Valley, California, she took 10th place overall (second for U19s) in giant slalom, and 11th place overall (fourth for U19s) in slalom. At the FIS Spring Series in Breckenridge, Colorado, she won the giant slalom race—a win that currently ranks her second in the nation and sixth in the world in giant slalom for her age, as well as first and ninth in the world in super-G. Finally, she ended the season with a 12th-place finish in super-G at the US National Championships in Aspen, Colorado.

Mary's fierce competitive nature is among the best in the world and I'm confident that she will take advantage of this opportunity.—Graham Flinn, head FIS coach

“Mary has worked incredibly hard day in, day out, not only this season but for many years in order to put herself in a position to accomplish the goal of being named to the US Ski Team,” said Graham Flinn, head FIS coach for Rowmark Ski Academy. “I'm very proud of the way she carried herself throughout this past year's successes and challenges. She continues to impress with her drive and ability to be a student of the sport. Her fierce competitive nature is among the best in the world and I'm confident that she will take advantage of this opportunity.”

The US Ski Team’s alpine athletes have already kicked off pre-season camps, and the official team will be announced this fall once nominees complete required physical fitness testing and US Ski & Snowboard medical department clearance. We will continue to update the Rowland Hall community on Mary’s progress in this exciting new chapter in her ski-racing career—which she’ll balance alongside her senior year at Rowland Hall—through the fall and winter.

Congratulations, Mary!


The below video, first shared with the Rowland Hall community in April 2021, features Mary's reflections on competing in Europe earlier this year.

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