For over a year, Paul Smith’s College has been on a mission to include more competitive sports within its 14,000-acre campus in the Adirondacks while colleges all over the country drop their varsity sports programs. Their latest endeavor, on top of Nordic skiing, biathlon, hockey and trap shooting, is in the form of alpine skiing. The new program will begin during the 2021-2022 school year, bringing the school to a total of 27 varsity sports programs.
In the 1980’s and 90’s, Paul Smiths had a dominant alpine skiing program that saw the then two-year school program reach the national junior college championship of 1991. Paul Smith College’s skiing history dates as far back as 1952 when they hosted the US Olympic trials prior to the Winter Games in Oslo.
Kelly Brush, a Vermont native and former athlete who trained at Green Mountain Valley School was skiing at Collegiate Ski Carnival at Jiminy Peak, Mass., in 2006 when she took a debilitating spill.
She caught a ski edge in the snow, propelling her into a backwards spin that caused her to smash into a lift tower, breaking her back and her ribs, and suffering a spinal cord injury that confined her to a wheelchair for life.
The accident was restricting, but it didn’t dampen her energy and her desire to help those who were similarly afflicted in accidents of their own. Kelly Brush started the Kelly Brush Foundation, and dedicated her life to raising awareness for the injured and raising money to address skier safety.
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