WSS celebrates Olympic alumni |

WSS celebrates Olympic alumni


The Winter Sports School (WSS) held its inaugural WWS Cup on April 9 and 10, with local racers getting to take on Olympians in a ski race at The Canyons Resort.

"We’ve never done a winter sports event for the school," said WSS head Rob Clayton. "It was a great first try. From the reception and how well it went, we look forward to continuing it."

Bronze medalist and class of ’03 representative Andrew Weibrecht flew in from Dartmouth to attend the event, looking like Russell Crowe in "Gladiator," said Clayton, with his arm in a sling and his leg in a brace from injuries sustained during the ski season.

Absent Maximus, 2005 graduate and Olympic team member Megan McJames was the day’s fastest racer. Meanwhile Ellie Ochowicz, a three-time Olympic speedskater and 2002 graduate, improved her time by more than three seconds between runs while charging with the same head of steam that propelled her to an American record in the 500 meters this season.

Olympic ski jumper Anders Johnson was also on hand to meet the other 32 racers, which included the Summit Ski Team. Weibrecht, McJames and Johnson are all sponsored by Rossignol, a co-host of the event with Escala Lodges and The Canyons. A reception was held Friday at Kimball Junction, with another following the main event Saturday at The Canyons.

The event also served as a kickoff to the WSS academic year, which runs during spring and summer to allow students to fulfill their education while competing during the winter months.

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"For some of the kids at the school, it was really nice to see their eyes wide open," Clayton said. "Personally, it got me all fired up for school to rub elbows with those Olympian alums."

Ten-year-old Summit Ski Team standout Scottie McGrath savored the chance to mingle with some of his idols, whom he might soon join after winning every race in his first season.

"I really like ski racing and I’ve had fun in the past year," McGrath said. "I came out to have fun and to see how close I could get to the Olympians.

"I want to go to the Olympics in all the alpine events."

Erik Daenitz contributed to this report.