River Radamus and Tommy Ford make final Olympic preparations at Golden Peak
Special to the Vail Daily
Approaching the pinnacle experience of his Alpine career, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail alumnus River Radamus returned to his roots to prepare for his first Olympic Games.
Training on home turf alongside SSCV athletes, Radamus and fellow Olympian Tommy Ford worked the dry, cold snow of Golden Peak last week, its grippy surface acting as the perfect simulation for the snow conditions they are sure to encounter in Beijing the next few weeks.
For Radamus, an Edwards resident, it was a particularly special moment to come full circle and be back at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, training on his home mountain, where everything began before his rise to the national team in high school.
“The training at Golden Peak proved to be just what we were looking for,” Radamus said.
Ford concurred: “The venue was awesome. SSCV did a great job with it, making for really responsive, nicely manicured terrain,” he said.
When asked of his thoughts on heading off to Beijing for his first appearance on the world-wide stage where childhood dreams are made true, Radamus said, “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.”
The veteran Ford said, “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. In order to enter China and the competition bubble, a lot has needed to be taken care of, not the least of which has been avoiding COVID-19. Both expressed gratitude for those working around the clock to make everything possible.
“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 U.S. 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, said, “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,” Wall said.
“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 — it 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.”
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