Photo by Oliver Semple
Aspen High School’s alpine ski team is the largest athletic team at AHS, with about 70 students participating every year. However, the team’s popularity has made it very difficult to gather during times of COVID-19. Practice is currently happening, but because of COVID-19 restrictions, the practices are optional. Only a few select skiers are allowed to go to competitions. A home competition was originally scheduled for January 8th, but the official season has now been postponed to January 18th.
Jennifer Morandibenson, a teacher at AHS and the head coach of the Alpine team, is still hopeful for the season despite the setbacks.
“I’m most excited about just getting all of us on snow. With all the uncertainties and rapidly changing nature of the season, every time we can get out there is precious,” Morandibenson said.
While many sports this year have been cancelled or postponed, the Alpine team appears to be continuing on as normal as possible. Edie Sherlock, a senior at AHS, had been on the Alpine team all four years of high school.
“I’m really excited about actually getting to race this year as of now. Especially with COVID, we weren’t sure that we’d have a season so getting out to train and see the coaches has been a great break from school,” Sherlock said.
Despite a unique year, the alpine team will continue with optimism, and most importantly, safety.
“The best part of the alpine team is the positivity and passion. After safety, our goal is to make sure that athletes leave practice able to say that they had fun and enjoyed themselves. At the end of the day, we dedicate ourselves to the sport because we love it, so as coaches, we try to create a low pressure environment and emphasize the joy of ski racing,” Morandibenson said.