Ben Ritchie kicks out of the start en route to second place at the Longines Future Ski Champions event. (Longines)
The North American Snowsports Journalists Association – East Region (NASJA-East) has announced their winners of the 2016 Don A. Metivier Golden Ski Award. This year, the award goes to Cecily Decker (Saranac Lake, NY, Eastern Regional Team /New York Ski Education Foundation) and Ben Ritchie (Waitsfield, VT, National Training Group/Green Mountain Valley School).
Ben Ritchie (left) finished second at the Longines Future Ski Champions event.
Since 1969, the Golden Ski Award has been presented to the top junior male and female skiers in the east. Previous winners have included athletes such as Mikaela Shiffrin, Ryan Cochran-Siegle and Nolan Kasper. 2015’s winners were U.S. national champions and U.S. Ski Team members Drew Duffy and Nina O’Brien.
Decker had an incredible 2015-16 season with nine podiums at various FIS races, including a win at the NorAm downhill in Lake Louise and a win at the FIS National Junior Championships. Similarly, Ritchie had an equally strong season—becoming the U16 National Champion, taking second at the Longines Future Ski Champions event in St. Moritz and representing the U.S. at this year’s Hahnenkamm 16 event at Kitzbuehel.
Cecily Decker finished third on the junior podium at 2016 U.S. Alpine Championships behind previous Golden Ski Award winner Mikaela Shiffrin and Stephanie Lebby. (USSA)
“The Golden Ski Award is the oldest honor given to junior alpine ski racers that exists today,” says Jim Gregory, Chair of the NASJA-East Golden Ski Award Committee. “We are proud this year to honor Cecily Decker and Ben Ritchie, two extraordinary athletes, and we look forward to watching them pursue their goals and set the bar even higher in the sport we all love so much.”
The awards will be presented at a reception at the New England Ski Museum on Friday, June 10.