Five Minutes with....Alpine Skier Caitie Sarubbi

Feb. 10, 2009, 5:44 p.m. (ET)

Alpine skier Caitie Sarubbi (Brooklyn, N.Y.) is working hard to earn a spot on her first U.S. Paralympic Team to compete at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver.  She's also a student at Harvard University and eventually wants to become a surgeon. 

This is your opportunity to spend five minutes with...Caitie Sarubbi.

What is your favorite holiday? 

What is your secret hidden talent that would surprise people?  
Ironically, since I put my Harvard education on hold to pursue my dream of competing at the Paralympic Winter Games, it sounds silly to tell you that  I love the water and water sports especially wakeboarding.

What is the first thing you do on your computer besides check email? 
Check Facebook.

What is your favorite place to ski? 
Windham Mountain in New York. It has more of a sentimental value to me, it's where it all began. I have the largest extended family through The Adaptive Sports Foundation at Windham. 

What are your interests outside of skiing?  
My Harvard education.  I know what a true gift it was to be accpted to the number one school.  Between ski training and my studies there is no room for any other interests!   

What is the one food you can't live without? 
Good, old fashion Brooklyn pizza!

What is the one thing people don't know about you? 
I'm pretty much an open book.  However, it is my syndrome that people do not know much about, since it is very rare and has only been diagnosed thirteen times worldwide.  I have a syndrome called Ablepharon Macrostomia Syndrome (AMS).  AMS caused me to be born without eyelids, which led to me having more than 50 surgeries and left me visually impaired.

What do people not know about visually impaired skiers?  
How very expensive it can be. To be a visually impaired skier you have not only the expenses as an athlete, but the expenses of your guide as well.  For this year alone, our budget is approximately $75,000.00.

Who is the most influential figure in your life? 
My mom.  I look up to her so much, and I am so grateful for all she does for me.

Who is your favorite athlete? 
Paralympic alpine skier Sarah Billmeier.  I was so grateful to be at her award ceremony when she was being introduced by her colleague Sandy Dukat into the Hall of Fame.  I share the same goals and aspirations as she did.  I too, hope to be a Paralympic medalist and a doctor, and Sarah showed me that dream is possible  

What is your greatest athletic accomplishment? 
Making the US Adaptive Ski Team, now I have my sights set on Vancouver 2010.

Have you met anyone famous? 
My most exciting encounter with someone famous, was when I got to sit next Meryl Streep and Jon Bon Jovi.  Last year, I was at my sister's high school softball game sitting on a three tier bleacher and right next to me, cute as ever, was Jon Bon Jovi watching his daughter play. After the game, my sister asked me how she did, I honestly had to tell her I was not sure because I was a little preoccupied with my surroundings.  

What is your favorite place you've ever been?
For skiing it has to be either Chile or Aspen, but other then that, Hawaii, Aruba and my trip to Spain.

For more on Caitie, visit her Web site at