Parkite snags Olympic alpine spot
Ryan Summerlin January 28, 2014
The road to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics was a little longer than expected for Park City resident Megan McJames.
The 26-year-old alpine skier has been skiing as an independent, raising her own money and making her own travel plans, without the financial and travel support of the U.S. Ski Team.
But, to those who know McJames, the fact that she was able to persevere and snag her second Olympic berth was no surprise.
"She’s a pretty tough kid and worked hard to get there, both with skiing and fundraising," her father, Scott McJames, said. "The whole thing is a pretty tough ride."
But that doesn’t mean there weren’t some bumps along the road.
"There are a variety of ups and downs," Scott McJames said. "A year ago, she was in Europe and had some trouble with her equipment and trying to get her setup all straightened out."
Add in Megan’s picky eating habits, and those long trips overseas seem even longer.
"It’s tough on her because it wears her out," Scott McJames said. "After six weeks in Europe of not eating much, it gets a little rough."
Megan has managed to turn in some solid performances over the past few months on the World Cup tour despite the travel frustration. She finished 23rd in the giant slalom at a World Cup event in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Dec. 15 and followed that up with a 26th-place GS finish in Val d’Isere, France, a week later.
Though she didn’t finish her runs in her most recent World Cup event, she made a strong enough impression to make the Olympic team.
Despite the ups and downs of the last four years, Megan’s father was thrilled to hear his daughter would be heading to her second Olympics. Though, he added, nothing will compare to the thrill of hearing she was named to her first Olympic team back in 2010.
"It’s very exciting," Scott McJames said. "You’re always excited when your kid is an Olympic athlete."
McJames will join Team USA skiers Stacey Cook, Julia Ford, Julia Mancuso, Laurenne Ross, Mikaela Shiffrin, Leanne Smith, Resi Stiegler and Jacqueline Wiles on the women’s alpine squad.
Ted Ligety, Bode Miller, Steven Nyman, Tim Jitloff, Marco Sullivan, David Chodounsky, Erik Fisher, Travis Ganong, Jared Goldberg, Nolan Kasper and Andrew Weibrecht will represent the United States on the men’s side.
The women’s alpine events in Sochi begin on Monday, Feb. 10, with the super combined races. Women’s alpine events conclude on Friday, Feb. 21, with the slalom finals.