Student skis for national title
The race was about to begin as Cody Anderson stared down the mountain at the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association National Championships in upstate New York. The UWL senior was waiting for the race of his life to begin on a ski hill steeper and taller than his training grounds.
That same Lake Placid mountain hosted Olympic skiers in 1932 and 1980. “It was an indescribable feeling being by the starting gate and thinking Olympians were here,” says Anderson.
Just over a minute later, Anderson was down the course. “The hill was really slushy,” he recalls. “They salted to try and make the snow hard, but the weather was just bad for skiing.”
About a dozen racers couldn’t complete the course and half of the field was slower than Anderson. But he found himself four seconds short of qualifying for the finals.
“I wish I could have done better,” he said. “But I’m happy with what I did.”
Anderson was the only male racer to qualify from Wisconsin – an experience he had been working toward since age 7. “My parents could tell I loved it, especially when I’d go as fast as I could straight down the hill,” says Anderson. “They put me in a class as soon as they could and the rest is history.”
As he approaches graduation, he plans to continue skiing as a hobby and maybe racing. “I’d love to move out west and live in the mountains,” says Anderson.
But first, he’ll pursue a master’s degree in industrial organizational psychology at Minnesota State University, Mankato — a program he was accepted into the same week he learned he qualified for nationals.
“What a week,” recalls Anderson.