A Season of Snowfall and Competition
A Profile of Longtime Competitive Skier Amelia Killackey
For many students, the winter season is one of joy and happiness, filled with holidays, cups of hot chocolate, and playing in the snow. For a select group of athletes, however, the winter season is one of long weekends and intense competition.
Amelia Killackey (‘21) started skiing when she was two years old, donning her skis just as she was learning to walk. Her parents, she said, didn’t want to put her in a conventional sport, but wanted to challenge her to do something different, and skiing was the answer.
“I like that it’s a different kind of sport,” Amelia explained. “I like the feeling it gives me. The thrill of skiing, to be on the ice, to be shooting down at 50 mph, it’s a feeling that you can never get in any other sport. There’s no stress, it’s freeing. I always come back to the freedom.”
Weekends of practice paid off for Amelia, and at six years old she joined her racing team, the Woodstock Ski Runners. Skiing, however, isn’t an easy sport to partake in as a city kid. Amelia skis near Killington, Vermont, a five-hour drive from New York City. A typical ski weekend, she revealed, starts with the long drive on Friday night.
“On Saturdays there are races, so we get up really early and drive to the mountain, and the next day we have practice and talk about the race and what we could have done better and all that stuff. A normal weekend is pretty much racing and practice, and usually ranges from 10-16 hours.”
When asked if the long weekends are ever overwhelming, especially compared to regeneration many students use their weekends for, Amelia said that “it does take up a weekend, and teachers tend to load on the homework on the weekends. It’s a lot of work, but skiing helps me destress; it helps me manage my life because I get to think things through. I think a lot when I’m skiing.”
The thrill of skiing, however, is something that Amelia would never give up. “I love racing, it’s quite a thrill to be up on the platform, first, second, or third. But it’s also the times when you’re not even racing when you’re going through the trees, the powder, it’s sunny, a little snowy, it’s just the perfect conditions: it’s pure freedom. It’s amazing.”
“The feeling is irreplaceable,” she continued. “It’s not something I can just get from doing something else, and I wouldn’t give skiing up for the world. I’m so happy that I have the opportunity to do it.”