Ted Ligety visits kids at YMCA | ParkRecord.com

Ted Ligety visits kids at YMCA

Courtney Harkins, USSA

Ted Ligety took some time out of the gym on Thursday to drive to Ogden — about an hour away from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Center of Excellence in Park City — to visit the Larry H. and Gail Miller Foundation YMCA Community Family Center. There, he spent the afternoon signing autographs, taking pictures and letting kids hold his gold medal from the Sochi Winter Olympics. But it wasn’t just about showing off for Ligety — it was about motivating the kids to work hard for something they love.

Ligety’s visit was part of the Y I Ski program. Started by the YMCA, Ligety, USSA, the National Winter Sports Education Foundation and Deer Valley Resort, Y I Ski is an affordable learn-to-ski program for kids ages 7-14. This is the second year of the successful program and is designed to help kids find a healthy passion to keep them active throughout the winter.

"[The kids] are always in awe. They think it’s so cool," said Ligety about his visit. "But really, if it inspires them to do things, it’s worth it for me."