Breckenridge freestyle skier cast as television star
BRECKENRIDGE – Sarah Ruckriegle, a 15-year-old freestyle skier from Breckenridge, is about to become a television star.
But this has nothing to do with skiing.
This summer, Ruckriegle was chosen for and competed in Endurance 2, a survivor-based show that’s a part of Discovery Kids on NBC. The show begins airing Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and runs through Jan. 10. The half-hour series features 20 teens from around the country in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, where they undergo a series of challenging, rough-it and tough-it games.
While Ruckriegle isn’t allowed to talk about what she did or what team she was on, she did describe her shock at being selected.
“I was at home with a friend and I got the call,” she said. “They just said, “Congratulations, you made the show.’ I wasn’t supposed to tell anybody. I was so excited, I was almost crying. But I had to lie to my friend.”
And her parents, Deb and Terry, were shocked, too. The day she received the call, she had to start planning. Sarah was supposed to attend a ski camp at the end of June, but, instead, found herself on a plane with her 18-year-old sister, Stephanie.
“Right off the plane, we went and did some photo shoots and they went through some of our stuff,” Ruckriegle said.
“There were a couple of clothes I had to leave with my sister.”
When a friend saw the advertisement in a Denver newspaper that Discovery was offering open tryouts in May for the show, they decided to attend. Sarah filled out a questionnaire and turned in a video recording.
After gauging her personality based on the tape, pictures and basic information, show producers gave her another call.
After a half-dozen cuts, which she made by sending in video tapes and doing phone interviews, the phone went silent. So, she assumed they had picked the talent they wanted.
“I had forgotten about it because I hadn’t heard anything,” she said.
But, when the phone rang, the Summit High School freshman’s life suddenly changed.
Last winter, Ruckriegle was the second youngest athlete to compete at the U.S. Freestyle Nationals. Now that she’s home safe and sound, she is back to her usual routine. On Sept. 30, she’s leaving with a crew from Team Summit to head to Zermatt, Switzerland, where they’ll train on snow for two weeks.
“I’d like to throw tons of helis and 360s and some lincoln loops,” she said.
And, she added, her traveling days aren’t over. Ruckriegle hopes to make it to nationals again and travel this winter for competitions.
Oh yeah. She also plays soccer for the High Country Soccer Association.
Ryan Slabaugh can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 257, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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