Ski and Snowboard
Event: Alpine Skiing
Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games:
Kaylin Richardson placed 17th in the women's super combined with a time of 2:13.40.
Kaylin Richardson followed her older brothers into ski racing as she grew up in the Minneapolis area. Today, she's a U.S. champion and has skiers chasing her as she moves double-time toward the front of the World Cup parade in a couple of events, not just slalom any more.
Richardson really loves Alaska. Despite a Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships that saw 108 inches of snow and volcanic eruptions, Richardson sliced the competition yet again at Alyeska to win her second U.S. downhill title. Her first was in '07 at - you guessed it - Alyeska. It was her first full season back to racing full-time and while she found herself on the wrong side of the top 30, she regained the confidence she needed to keep charging and charge she did through the final months of the season. In between February and April, Richardson landed on NorAm and FIS race podiums in every discipline including a pair of slalom victories and that oh so sweet U.S. downhill title. Always the first to pat a fiend on the back, Richardson served as the keynote speaker for the Rose Rees Peace Awards in Minneapolis. "Every single student was astonishing and, I am certain, going to make this world a better place," she wrote in her blog on UniversalSports.com. "To hear those kids speak was one of the most humbling and wonderful experiences of my life. It truly was an honor to be part of such an amazing program." Chances are good those same kids will be cheering Richardson onto a potential second Olympic Team in 2010.
She started skiing at about 5, moving into racing at 9 with Team Gilboa at Highland Hills when brothers Chris and Tom started. "I tagged along and figured out it was the sport for me," she said. She was bronze medalist in DH and super G at the '99 Rocky/Central J3 Junior Olympics; slalom champ and combined bronze in the J1-2 JOs in 2000; on the U.S. Development Team with the '01 season. In 2004, she was the Swiss national junior slalom champion. She also was the NorAm slalom champion for three years, 2003-05 and in '06 Richardson added her first U.S. title, capturing the slalom gold medal. "This is cool. I feel like I'm finally part 'the club' - the Champions Club," she beamed.
FIRST WORLD CUP
Dec. 15, 2002 in Sestriere, ITA (Did not qualify in inaugural "knockout slalom")
2007 Worlds: 12th in super combined, 23rd in slalom. 2006 Olympics - 17th in combined
Constantly smiling...both brothers raced in college...loves to read, play soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, sail, consume chocolate ice cream, camp, mountain bike and hike...And hopes to play the piano...Blogger for www.UniversalSports.com. Enjoys speaking to groups about skiing and spreading the love of the sport...Supports World Vision with her family in an effort to build a school in Zambia, help out at http://www.firstgiving.com/kaylinscalling. Personal philosophy: "Laugh Frequently."
Image by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images