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December 12, 2012

Ski Lessons With an Olympian

By Sarah Gold | sports

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Courtesy of Robb Gordon

You are an experienced skier, with years of season-pass practice under your belt. You might even consider yourself an expert. Still, each winter a day comes—maybe when you’re stiff and fatigued from carving through glades or after a punishing mogul run that makes your knees ache—when you can’t help but wonder if taking a few lessons would be worth it.

It can be tough to admit that your ski technique could stand some improvement. But what if you could pair up with an expert instructor—say, a former Olympian? For the first time this winter skiers at Montage Deer Valley will be able to do just that. The resort’s new Ski With a Pro program takes full advantage of the 50-plus Olympic athletes who live and train in the surrounding ski community of Park City, Utah—among them three-time giant slalom Olympian Erik Schlopy, two-time snowboarding Olympian Graham Watanabe and Phil McNichol, former head coach of the men’s Olympic Alpine team.   

Skiers who sign on for the three-day program get a full day of personalized instruction with an Olympic skier; the resort assesses each participant’s ability and schedule and matches accordingly. Daily lift tickets, accommodations, breakfast and guided pre- and post-ski stretching sessions at the resort’s wellness center are also included.

According to Andy Damman, Montage Deer Valley’s director of resort activities, Ski With a Pro doesn’t just allow guests the opportunity to ski alongside some of the world’s finest practitioners of the sport—it also gives them the chance to ask questions. “What does an Olympic athlete’s training routine entail? How can children who aspire to be Olympians start to prepare? What are hints and tips to skiing that only Olympians know?” says Damman. “These are the kinds of conversations that will take place while hanging out on the chairlifts with true ski celebrities.” How’s that for bragging rights? Through April 15, 2013; three-day program, from $2,575; 9100 Marsac Ave.; 435-604-1300; montagedeervalley.com.

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