Schleper Returns to World Cup Racing
SOURCE: FIRST TRACKS ONLINE
Soelden, Austria – With the support of her husband and son standing in the finish, the U.S. Ski Team’s Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO) flew down the hill of her first World Cup race in over two years during the World Cup season opener in Soelden, Austria on Saturday.
“It feels so great to finally be back to racing, two years is a really long time and I still have so much work to do, but I’m excited to be back at it,” Schleper said. “It’s also so good to be back with the Team. A lot of these girls weren’t racing when I was with the Team but they’re all so nice and so talented. It’s a really good group to be a part of.”
“It was really exciting to have her back. She was very fired up and she skied really well,” U.S. Women’s Alpine Head Coach Jim Tracy said of Schleper’s return performance. “She didn’t qualify, but that wasn’t necessarily the goal. She skied pretty well and she’s happy.”
Schleper, who initially took time off to heal a minor injury, took last season off to begin a family with husband Federico Gaxiola. Their son Lasse was born in January, after which Schleper began her return to the competitive ski racing arena.
“I’ve got to get rid of the mommy legs and get my ski racing legs back,” Schleper said from Soelden.
Schleper’s family, along with newly appointed team mascot Lasse, was on hand Saturday to cheer her on as she got back on the hill in Austria.
“My family has been so supportive of this, it’s incredible. I have my husband Federico here and our son Lasse, everyone is here and we’ll be together this season,” Schleper said. “The other girls on the Team love Lasse too, they’ve started calling him the unofficial Team mascot and it’s fun to have him crawling around the Team hotels. I think he’s having fun too.”
For now, Schleper and Co. have the first World Cup of the season wrapped up, and it’s on to the next in Levi, Finland, for slalom on November 15.