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Sun Valley Skier to Become One of Youngest Americans to Start a World Cup
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Wednesday, March 1, 2023
 

BY HEATHER FOSTER

Sammy Smith, a member of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s Cross Country comp Team, has been selected to represent the U.S. Ski Team in four World Cup Springs in March.

“With strong racing at World Juniors and a second-place qualifier in the Minneapolis SuperTour, Sammy Smith has been awarded Sprint starts in the remaining World Cup competitions,” said Chris Mallory, SVSEF XC Gold Team Head Coach. “As one of the youngest Americans to ever start a World Cup, she’s beyond excited to dip her toe into World Cup racing and learn from our strong women’s team.”

The day after the 17-year-old was offered the World Cup spots, she walked into the Lake Creek hut for training and her smile said it all.

“She was grinning from ear to ear,” said Becky Woods, SVSEF Cross Country Program Director. “Her goal this season has been to qualify to ski in the World Cup and now it is in front of her. The opportunity to be around the best skiers in the world and live, train and race with the likes of Jessie Diggins is a dream come true. So…off she goes to compete for the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team!”

Smith will be competing in four sprint World Cup races. The first will be a classic sprint in Drammen, Norway, on March 14. From there the team will head to Falun, Sweden; then Tallinn, Estonia, with the last race in Lahti, Finland. 

Competing at this level is not new to Smith, who also represented Team USA at the U17 World Junior Soccer Championships in India this past fall. 

“It takes a special talent to be able to compete at the highest level in two sports—especially given the differences in soccer and cross-country skiing,” said Woods. “I have been with Sammy enough to know that she is a special athlete. Her ability to prioritize training for both sports, and her laser focus when she is competing in each discipline is incredible. She has big aspirations and we’re behind her all the way to go for it!”

Smith had planned to race at the Opa Cup Finals in Italy but will have to skip those races as they take place during the same time window.

DID YOU KNOW?

Sammy Smith has a couple pairs of “race socks” to be worn only on race days.


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