Vail’s Schleper commits to Ski Team return – She is eyeing her fifth Olympics, her father says
Four-time Olympic skier Sarah Schleper has committed to return to the U.S. Ski Team next winter, her father, Buzz, said.
Last month, Schleper said she was 80 percent sure she would not retire.
“She e-mailed me yesterday,” Buzz Schleper said. “She just said she had talked to (women’s technical coach) Trevor (Wagner) and gave a commitment for this next winter.”
Sarah Schleper is on a surf trip in Mexico and could not be reached.
The 31-year-old Vail native finished 14th and 16th in the Olympic giant slalom, respectively, in Vancouver — her fourth Olympics.
She earned her first top-10 finish in five years in the World Cup giant slalom in Are in December. In January, she skied to a top five finish in the Lienz slalom.
She finished the year in the top 25 in both slalom and GS. Those results have secured her a place on the Olympic “A” team, along with Vail’s Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso. That means her travel expenses will be paid for — a luxury she didn’t have last year, when she was on the “B” team.
Schleper’s decision to return wasn’t a surprise to her dad.
“She’s thinking ahead toward (the 2014 Olympics in) Sochi,” Buzz Schleper said. “She’s going to take it one year at a time. If her body holds together, and she’s still loving ski racing, which she obviously does at the moment, she plans to compete in her fifth Olympics.”
Sarah Schleper will be home for a couple of days at the end of May, and then will go to Mount Hood in Oregon, where she will coach young skiers and train.
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