Ritchie setting sights on 2022 Winter Olympics
Fresh off a breakthrough season, Waitsfield’s Ben Ritchie talks making a run at the 2022 Games next February.
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Waitsfield’s Ben Ritchie finished eighth in the alpine combined at the U-S Alpine Championships Wednesday in Aspen. Ritchie, sat in 23rd place after the opening Super G run, but posted the best slalom run by far to jump finish inside the top ten.
Being the best in the slalom has been a theme for Ritchie this season as he won the U-S national title and World Junior championship in the event, and was the top U-S finisher in the slalom at the World Championships.
Those type of performances have Ritchie dreaming big. The 2022 Olympics are just ten months away and Ritchie is confident that if he stays within himself, the goal of representing his country at the Games next February is within his grasp.
“It definitely adds a little bit of pressure, even if you try not to think about it, but I’m confident that, at the end of the day, if I can go out and ski my best then it will all work out and I’ll be able to go there and race.”, says Ritchie.
Whether or not Ritchie qualifies for the U-S Olympic team next winter, his performances have already added his name to the list of top alpine skiers from Vermont. A list that includes Ritchie’s U-S Ski Team teammate Ryan Cochran-Siegle, a two-time World Junior champion who earned his first World Cup victory this season. For Ben, his goal is to continue to improve his performances, adding to Vermont’s alpine legacy while helping show the generation behind him what is possible.
“It’s an honor and a goal of mine to still improve upon that legacy. Everyone in the ski racing world knows about Vermont, even everyone in Europe.”, says Ritchie. “Lots of really big names with amazing results. It’s amazing to have Ryan Cochran-Siegle as someone to look up to and have advice from. It’s my goal to keep skiing better and inspire more people, to inspire more from Vermont specifically, to get into racing and just know that they can do it.”
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