SVSEF visually-impaired competitor, headed to Bowdoin
Ketchum’s Jake Adicoff, 19, of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) was one of 15 athletes named June 10 to the 2014-15 U.S. Paralympic Nordic Skiing National/Development team.
U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, made the announcement last week and the SVSEF announced it on its Web site.
John Farra, high performance director of U.S. Paralympics Nordic skiing, was quoted on the SVSEF Web site as saying, “I am thrilled to be able to announce this small but very high-powered national team that includes three Paralympic Winter Games medalists, one World Cup medalist and several emerging talents who are ready to make their mark in the sport.
“It is my hope and my expectation that this team will help us to achieve our best ever world championship result in 2015.”
Competing for the U.S. Development Team last season, visually-impaired competitor Adicoff earned a promotion to the U.S. C Team. He is one of six skiers on the upper echelon teams, ranked A, B and C.
There are nine members on the D Team, including Omar Bermejo of Hailey. All 15 of the athletes named to the 2014-15 national team competed at the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games in Russia.
In an official letter informing Adicoff of his nomination, Farra said, “With your performance in Sochi, you hit the objective criteria for the national team, but you also meet our subjective criteria in that we believe you will be capable of winning in 2018, if you are able to maintain a professional training plan in the coming seasons.”
A veteran of one Paralympics, Adicoff said the 2018 Winter Games are “too far ahead to think about,” but he is “definitely considering it and would like to do it. It’s just a matter of how and when.”
Adicoff is planning to attend Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, this fall. He said he will concentrate on skiing with the Polar Bears’ collegiate team and supplement that with appearances for the national squad.
“It’s a little bit complicated,” Adicoff said in the SVSEF release. “Both teams want me to race for them and that is totally understandable. I committed to skiing in college last year and John Farra understands that. He’s okay with me racing mostly college races. I am going to have to balance it out, which might be hard to do.”
Looking at the 2014-15 season, Adicoff said he might attend World Cup races in Norway which coincide with his spring break, but in the immediate future his focus will be on competing for his school.
“It will be a whole new ball game once I get to college,” he said. “There are a lot of really good skiers out there. It will probably take a year or two to transition into competitive college skiing, but I am really excited. It should be cool to join a new racing team.”
In preparation for making the jump to NCAA Division I ski racing, Adicoff has been hard at work grinding through daily training sessions with a group of SVSEF post-grads and current Gold Team members.
Those fellow trainees include Sloan Storey, Maggie Williams, Makayla Cappel, Jesse Knori, Cole Morgan, Jack Steele, Sam Cowan, Adam Luban, Korky Harrer, Nick Lovett, Jonas Loefler, Ben Lustgarten, Paige Schember and Mary Rose.
A 2013 graduate of Hailey’s Wood River High School, Adicoff has been a member of the SVSEF since he was eight. Last season he spent a post-grad year with SVSEF honing in on his goal of competing in the 2014 Winter Games.
He and guide Reid Pletcher—also a SVSEF alumni—achieved that goal in March, earning a sixth place in 20k classic and 2.5k mixed relay.
In all, the pair competed in five events at Sochi, Russia: 7.5k biathlon-14th (top American), 20k classic-6th, freestyle sprint-8th, freestyle relay-6th, and 10k freestyle-7th. He was one of 16 members representing the U.S.