Trevor Ricioli can now say he’s the first American to win the Nor-Am Cup in skier cross.
Feels pretty good, but bringing it back home feels even better.
“I’m proud to bring the cup back to Lake Tahoe. We have so many great athletes here and it feels good to bring it home not only for America, but for Tahoe,” Ricioli said.
The South Tahoe resident locked up the Nor-Am Cup this past Sunday when he took first at the FIS Mount Hood competition. The 28-year-old is the first American to win this title, which has been held only by Canadian skiers until now.
Ricioli was on the podium in 10 of his 13 skier cross races this season. Five of those climbs were to first place.
“It was just a battle,” Ricioli said. “We were racing on ice or powder. It was just different every time. This one just really tested your overall skiing.”
Long hours of training are what carried Ricioli through the unknown conditions. He started training in the summer at Mount Hood and kept the training going through some cold nights, running gates at Heavenly.
“It was a long season. I’ve been gone pretty much since November,” Ricioli said, “but I learned my limits and how far I can push myself.”
The plan was to be on the snow as much as possible, and it all paid off.
His final win at Hood guarantees a spot for Ricioli in all World Cup races next season, and an extra U.S. spot in the series.
“This summer I’m just going to work on trying to get sponsors,” Ricioli said. “The U.S. Ski Team really doesn’t have the money for ski cross because it’s a new sport. So we’re kind of just going on our own, but my plan is to do the whole World Cup Tour next year.”
The bigger plan is the 2014 Olympics. It won’t be easy. The U.S. only sends one man and one woman to the Olympics for skier cross, but Ricioli is definitely in the running.
“It’s a tough field and we’re all really close, but winning the Nor Am will really help me out,” Ricioli said. “If not this Olympics I’m going to try for the next one.”