Summit County Alpine skier Jenna Sheldon ready to soak in the moment at Nor-Am Cup events in Canada |

Summit County Alpine skier Jenna Sheldon ready to soak in the moment at Nor-Am Cup events in Canada

Jenna Sheldon hugs a gate as she crouches around a turn during an Alpine skiing competition. Sheldon will compete in two Nor-Am Cup events from Dec. 6-13 in Canada.
Hugh Carey/The Colorado Sun

On Wednesday, Dec. 1, local Alpine skier Jenna Sheldon kicked off her Alpine skiing season close to home at Copper Mountain Resort as part of the FIS Alpine Ski Nor-Am Cup.

Sheldon competed in the super-G competition and placed eighth and 10th overall, posting a best time of 1 minute and 24.05 seconds.

“The competition went pretty good,” Sheldon said. “It’s been nice to get on the speed skis, and it was nice to ski in some beautiful weather, too.”

Sheldon competed against women from across the United States as well as international competitors from Canada and Great Britain.

Sheldon will face more international competition as she prepares to travel to Canada later this week in order to compete in two Nor-Am Cups. She will compete from Dec. 5-9 in Lake Louise, Canada, and then Dec. 12-13 in Panorama, British Columbia.

Sheldon is currently competing with Loveland Ski Club, which has helped her get to the point she is at as a young skier. Sheldon will represent Loveland Ski Club throughout the Alpine ski season as well as Summit High School when she starts the high school Alpine ski season.

Sheldon will be missing the majority of her finals week at Summit High when she travels to Canada, but she said her teachers and the administration have been extremely helpful in figuring out how she can make up tests while balancing travel, competitions and school responsibilities.

“My teachers have been so understanding,” Sheldon said. “I have been in constant communication with them of, like, how to do my final, what works best for them and what I am capable of doing. They want to help me succeed, and it’s nice to have the flexibility and support from the teachers.”

Jenna Sheldon leans into a turn during an Alpine skiing competition. Sheldon will compete in two Nor-Am Cup events from Dec. 6-13 in Canada.
Jenna Sheldon/Courtesy photo

Sheldon said a lot of hard work has gone into the development of the skier she is today, which has allowed her the opportunity to travel to Canada.

Sheldon started skiing when she was 2 years old and started Alpine ski racing when she was 8 with Team Breckenridge Sports Club. Sheldon was with Team Breck until she was 13, and it was with that club where some of Sheldon’s Alpine skills were fostered and she first fell in love with the sport.

“Skiing for six years, and being able to do double blacks at (age) 5, I was a pretty good skier at 8 years old,” Sheldon said. “When I joined a race team, I learned how to take my ability to ski into something bigger.”

Sheldon said she seriously started competing in Alpine skiing events when she was 11 years old, meaning at age 18, she had been on the competition circuit for seven years.

Much like her early knack for learning how to ski, Sheldon competed well as a young Alpine skier and was among the top-ranked U12 skiers in the region.

“It was cool to be little and so good, but that career started to drop off as I got older and faced a wider range of competition,” Sheldon joked.

Jenna Sheldon catches some air as she competes in an Alpine skiing event.
Jenna Sheldon/Courtesy photo

Sheldon still has high aspirations for her Alpine skiing career with big dreams on the horizon.

Long term, Sheldon hopes to reach her full potential as a skier: Becoming an Olympian and winning a World Cup competition — two lifelong goals of hers.

“I want to do these things just like anyone would, but I can’t control those things,” Sheldon said. “All I can do is control what I do while competing.”

When thinking about her goals in Canada and for the rest of the season, however, her goal is simply to soak in the moment, especially as she competes on the same course that professional Alpine skiers race down during World Cup competitions.

“All you can really do is live in the moment, and if I go out on a race day and give my very best and I’m not first, there is not anything else that I could’ve done,” Sheldon said. “I have to be happy as to how I skied because I did my best.”

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