Ketchum, Idaho / Canmore, Alberta: Fast and Female hosted its third and final X-Country SkiFest of the year on American snow this past Sunday in Ketchum, Idaho. Held under clear and sunny skies, the event was highlighted by the participation of 70 female ski enthusiasts between the ages of 7 to 19 years who had the opportunity to spend a morning of inspiration with 23 ambassadors – 7 of which are Olympians.
As part of the unique event, Fast and Female event participants kicked off their day with first-hand ski tips from some of the world’s best cross-country ski racers including Kikkan Randall, Liz Stephen, Holly Brooks, Caitlin Compton, Morgan Arritola, Chandra Crawford (Canada), and Biathlete Sara Stedebaker. All ambassadors volunteered their time to the event and dressed the part to ensure a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
“It was super awesome,” said 17 year-old participant Emily Williams. “We had so much fun dancing, singing and learning new technique drills. It was amazing to spend the day with these great athletes.”
After the skiing, all girls enjoyed a healthy lunch, took part in an inspirational speech, and concluded the day with a fun yoga/dance session.
“The speeches were really inspirational and not just for cross country skiers,” admitted Kailey Wilt, age 14.
In keeping with Fast and Female’s vision, each event segment served a specific purpose to motivate girls to stay involved in sports as a tremendous vehicle for reaching one’s personal and athletic best.
“The looks we saw on our athletes’ faces today showed us what an important message Fast and Female sends to young women,” added Kelley Sinnott from the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. Sinnott played a key role in coordinating the event along with colleague Ashley McQueen.
Throughout the 2011 winter, Fast and Female hosted three events in the USA, reaching a total of 470 girls in Maine, Alaska and now Idaho. Historically, events are not only inspiring for the young participants but even ambassadors leave the day feeling energized.
“It’s always refreshing to be reminded of kids’ energy and enjoyment of whatever they are part of,” said World Cup racer Liz Stephen. “Fast and Female is a wicked program and the local community and Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation did an awesome job with all the work!”
Parent volunteer, Gretchen Wagner, also commented on the impact of the day: “What an amazing group of women! It was great to see all of the girls inspired by these fast female heroes. Smiles from ear to ear!”
All event participants left with a Fast and Female t-shirt, Buff and autographed poster.
This activity was made possible thanks to valuable local partners such as the Works of Grace Foundation, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, Cheatwood Photography, and many parent volunteers. Fast and Female’s national sponsors – including Best Buy, Buff Multifunctional Headwear, lululemon athletica, and Cold-FX – are also providing resources to make this event possible. For a complete list of Fast and Female national program supporters and sponsors, please visit: http://www.fastandfemale.com/default.asp?lang=&mode=webpage&id=89.
Fast and Female will be releasing more event information shortly. Until then, continue to visit http://www.fastandfemale.com/
ABOUT FAST AND FEMALE
Fast and Female is a not-for-profit society started in 2005 by Chandra Crawford – 2006 Olympic gold medalist in cross-country skiing. The organization’s mission is to ensure that girls remain supported, motivated, inspired, empowered to stick to sports and the healthy lifestyle. Fast and Female fulfills its mission of “Empowerment Through Sport” by hosting fun-filled, non-competitive initiatives all across North-America aimed at exposing young female athletes to inspiring female Olympians and elite level athletes. The young girls who attend Fast and Female events today will lead it in the future, may it be as athletes, coaches, volunteers, parents, and community leaders. For more information about Fast and Female, visit http://www.fastandfemale.com/
Inge is FasterSkier's international reporter, born and bred in Norway. A cross-country ski racer and mountain runner, she also dabbles on two wheels in the offseason. If it's steep and long, she loves it. Follow her on Twitter: @IngeScheve.