World Cup dream comes true for Aspenite |

World Cup dream comes true for Aspenite

Simi Hamilton
U.S. Ski Team/Aspen
Aspen's Simi Hamilton skis into history with the first World Cup cross country victory for an American racer in 26 years.
USSA photo |

Don’t tell my grade-school teachers this, but the best day of the school year when I was growing up was ski day.

To me, it represented 8 hours of opportunity to showcase why going to public school in Aspen wasn’t like going to public school anywhere else in the world.

And today, I’m still proud of that fact.

When people ask me about my life, the first words out of my mouth are that I learned to ski when I was 2 years old. That, along with pretty darn good athletic genes from my parents, is what shaped me into the person I am today.

I love to be outside, I love to get really good at something that is really hard, and I love to ski.

Those three things are the pillars of my character, and I’m proud of that.

Last Tuesday, I succeeded in doing something that I had been working on for the last 26.65 years, whether I knew it that whole time or not.

I won a World Cup.

And while skiing across the finish line ahead of everyone else in the world was a good feeling, the greatness of it all came afterward when I realized how many people support me and are behind me all the way.

Days later, I’m still receiving calls, emails, texts, tweets, and Facebook messages from far-flung friends in Kazakhstan, relatives in Iowa, ex-coworkers in Patagonia, and so many friends in the Roaring Fork Valley.

It’s a pleasant feeling to know that you are the fastest person in the world on skis on a given day.

But it’s an even better feeling knowing that you’re liked and loved because of the good person that you are and not because of how fast you can move your muscles.

It feels like yesterday when I was putting on the hand-me-down race suit from Casey Ward and stuffing with newspaper the oversized race boots handed down to me from my coach, Travis Moore.

There were, and still are, so many personalities, role models, coaches, friends, and mentors that shaped me, and will continue to shape me, into the skier and person I am today.

Our community is bound by people who love to be outside, who work hard to achieve things that are difficult and who love to ski.

I owe so much to this ethic, and it’s the greatest feeling in the world knowing that there will come a time when I’ll pass along my old race suits and boots to the next enthusiastic up-and-comer.

And when the day comes to send them congratulations on winning their first World Cup, I’ll be a very happy person.