Aidan Le Francois, a sophomore at Mammoth High School in California, has been skiing competitively since he was 6-years old on the Mammoth Mountain Ski Team. Le Francois skis in the Far West Division, which includes California and Nevada. He shared a little bit about his time with this sport and how it impacts his life as an NSHSS scholar.
"I've been fortunate enough to qualify for Regionals twice. Last year, as a first year U16, Regionals were held in Alyeska, Alaska. Basically, every state west of the Colorado Rockies takes their top 20+ people to compete. I also qualified my second year of being a U14, and that year, the Regionals were in Alpine Meadows, which is in the Lake Tahoe area.
Skiing has taught me discipline, hard-work, and dedication.
Our season runs from November thru April. We travel a lot, so I miss more than 40 days of school. I also never get to sleep in late because we are often skiing at 6:30 AM and during every single holiday. I have to be very organized. I feel I have also gained independence, because when I'm on the road, I am responsible for everything: my gear, tuning, food, sleep, diet, and getting my schoolwork completed by the time I return to school. This can be challenging--especially in classes where it's easier if you never miss, like AP Spanish Literature.
I feel fortunate that my school as well as my parents support me in my skiing career. I love to ski and feel very lucky to ski five or more days a week and not compromise my education. Skiing is fun, challenging, and a great stress reliever." --Aidan Le Francois