New Hampshire Snow Sports

Interview with Ace Tarberry from the Mt. Washington Valley ski club in New Hampshire

SKI RACING december 2, 2003

Ace is a lucky kid! Heís been able to ski year-round since he was 9 years old, and his commitment to skiing is paying off, in spades. Last year he earned a spot on the U.S. squad that went to Topolino, sometimes called the childrenís world championships, and finished 17th in the slalom. He earned a silver in the GS at the Eastern J III Olympics, a bronze in the super G and fourth place in the slalom, so clearly Ace is good at every event! At the International Whistler Childrenís races, he finished ninth in SG and 11th in slalom. Ace took some time to share his thoughts with us:

KC: What are your goals for the season?

AT: As a first-year J II, I will concentrate on lowering my FIS points. By skiing to finish every race consistently, I hope to gradually pull my points down. I will try to ski patiently, rather than trying to ski my fastest and end up falling, which could get me nowhere.

KC: How do you prepare?

AT: I ski at two summer camps, usually early in the summer and another one mid or late summer. I prepare myself physically by working out. I also play soccer for school, and stay active and agile water-skiing, playing tennis and swimming.

KC: How do you evaluate your progress?

AT: I listen to myself and my coaches. Looking at the scoreboard also helps.

KC: How did you get to where you are now?

AT: I just ski a lot. After training in gates or racing, I always try to just go off and free-ski.

KC: Where did you start skiing?

AT: I began skiing at Attitash, New Hampshire, now known as Attitash-Bear Peak, when I was about 2 years old. Our home is on the ski trail, so Iíve always had plenty of opportunity to ski.

KC: When did you start racing?

KC: When did you get serious about it?

AT: Itís always been the winter sport that our family does for fun, exercise and to be outside with family and friends. I donít know if the word serious has ever come up.

KC: How much did you train?

AT: I began to train every weekend during winter once I joined the ski racing team. When I was 9 years old, I started to ski year-round at Mt. Hood, Oregon, with the Mount Washington Valley Ski Team and family vacations to South America.

KC: How did you balance school and skiing?

AT: When it came to skiing during school, my teachers were very cooperative. This didnít mean I got any less work; in fact, I would often have more work because of the in-class time I missed. I do school wherever I am, work year-round, so as to take some time pressure off of my winter race season.

KC: How did you deal with finances?

AT: Iíve always worked hard for my parents, both at home and at their businesses ó so they have been supportive. Rossignol has been wonderfully supportive. Their equipment really works for me, and their technicians always seem to be there to help.

KC: What makes it fun for you?

AT: Skiing is my favorite thing to do in the world, so just being out on the mountain with friends has been the best.

KC: Whatís the best coaching tip you remember getting?

AT: Be patient on setting a good line and staying with it.

KC: What is your best event and why?

AT: Super-G ó I love terrain and always practice skiing over it while free-skiing.

KC: What do you think about before each race start?

AT: Staying relaxed and calm, and staying focused.

KC: How do you define success?

AT: Success is relative of course, but I define success by achieving the small goals I set throughout the season.

KC: What advice do you have for other young athletes?

AT: Keep the sport fun, and ski every chance you get. Donít take your boots off after the race; go enjoy the mountain youíre at with the friends you meet.

KC: What is your ultimate goal in skiing and in life?

AT: To ski at the highest level I can and keep outdoor sports throughout my life.

KC: What has racing taught you?

AT: Responsibility with equipment and organization.

KC: Thanks, Ace! Good luck this winter!

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