SVSEF provides ski and snowboard programming to nearly 700 athletes in the Wood River Valley. Athlete of the Week is an opportunity to highlight individuals who embody the values championed by this organization; sportsmanship, citizenship, character, teamwork, creativity, passion and perseverance.
Luke Rizzo, 18, Freestyle Travel
Luke is one of our graduating seniors who has grown up through SVSEF. He has continued to pursue his passion for skiing; from devo to alpine to freestyle, his love for the sport resonates throughout his training. This past year came with many challenges coming off of an extremely successful competition season the year before. Luke was faced with a difficult situation of juggling his scholastics and intense training/competition schedule. He finished the season with some impressive results, placing 18th at Junior Nationals and 25th at US National Championships. We’re really proud of Luke, his hard work and dedication, and what he’s accomplished this season
Photo by Hillary Maybery
Anika Vandenburgh, 13, Cross Country Prep Pro
Anika is a kind and spirited young lady who motivates her peers by setting an example. She’s small but mighty; when she puts her mind to something, she really commits to it, and always with a positive attitude.
A few weeks ago, she competed at Western States at Soldier Hollow. Although she is a U14, she decided to race as a U16 – she wanted a challenge and she wanted to see what she could do. That in and of itself was an accomplishment. Not only did Anika make this decision, but she rose to the challenge, and she did it with energy and grit as she always does. Post-race, having stuck with girls who were heads taller, she was ready to do it again. Anika has a go-after-it, positive attitude that her teammates really feed from, and it’s really cool to see.
Thomas DeKlotz, 15, Freeski Travel Team
Thomas makes skiing fun with his great attitude. In recent weeks He has really started pushing himself and gaining a lot of confidence and it really shows in his skiing. Thomas continues to learn new tricks on the daily with smooth style and perfection. Keep up the good work and send it.