Ski and Snowboard
EVENT - ALPINE SKIING
HEIGHT 5'7" WEIGHT 150 lbs
- 2010 Olympic Winter Games
- Ladies' Slalom: 30th (1:48.69)
- 2009: World Championships Team
- 2009: Career first World Cup points
- 2008: Back to back Europa Cup slalom wins (Lenggries, GER)
- 2008: 4th in Europa Cup slalom standings
- 2008: 2nd in NorAm slalom standings
- 2008: U.S. Championships slalom silver
- 2007: U.S. Championships slalom bronze
- 2007: 56th to 7th in first ever Europa Cup slalom
- 4th in 2007 NorAm SL standings (1 win)
Years on Team: 3
Club: Park City SEF, McCall Ski Team
Taekwondo's loss is the U.S. Ski Team's gain as Hailey Duke competed in the martial arts nationals and team trials as a teenager before deciding to focus on ski racing. Her determination helped produce a breakthrough season in 2007, including a NorAm win and a ticket to the U.S. Ski Team. She's been climbing the ranks ever since.
Duke blew open the season early with her first World Cup points, finishing 21st in slalom at the Aspen Winternational. It was a huge confidence boost for the young tech ace and it propelled her to score in three more World Cup slalom's, including a career best eighth at Semmering, Austria, in late December, and earn a spot on the 2009 World Championships team. However, the numbers really don't depict the full story as Duke was in contention for numerous top-10 finishes and even possible podium finishes before bowing out in the second run. Chances are she's working on getting that fixed and will be charging full on for two runs on her way to a possible Olympic start. "Now I have World Cup points and I know I can do it. I just have more motivation to just keep at it," Duke said. "I have it under my belt and I can kind of throw myself down the hill and see what happens. I can let it go a little bit more." An off season of building core strength and continuing to rehab nagging knee pains from a 2008 surgery had Duke on snow for nearly the entire month of August in New Zealand.
Her parents (Larry and Jane) were ski instructors in Sun Valley, Idaho, so she started skiing at age 2 at Sun Valley's Dollar Mountain. Her firstrace was a Kindercup event when she was 4; "I actually had to do it twice because my first go around I missed the finish to go hit my favorite jump." Duke began racing with the McCall Ski Team in Idaho at age 8, but shifted to the Park City Ski Team in 2004. She also practiced taekwondo, competing at the national level and at age 15, coming in third at U.S. Team Trials. She no longer competes, but she uses taekwondo as a cross-training vehicle - "and it definitely works," she said.
Continually cracking jokes...Good at asking for a Coke in German after taking a 10-day intensive course at Dartmouth in 2008...Prone to bust out dance moves when walking down the street...Making home movies as a hobby - usually involving goofing around with teammates...Always happy on skis...and when hanging with cat Tiger...I grew up being exposed to everything - basketball, baseball, football, soccer, biking, hiking, etc., all of which helped me develop as an athlete...I usually read whatever book finds me...I love working with and teaching kids- they keep me young.
Image by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images