U.S. Ski Team athlete Leanne Smith announced her retirement on Friday. Smith had over 100 World Cup starts in her career starting back in 2007. In those 10 years, she earned two World Cup podium finishes–a third place in the Cortina d’Ampezzo downhill in 2013 and a second place in the 2012 Val d’Isere downhill. Aside from the racing, she’ll miss her fellow athletes.
“I’ll definitely miss my teammates,” she said. “They’ve become family. Given the environment of life on the World Cup, we are around each other pretty much constantly. You are training, you are competing and you couldn’t be living any closer together. But these are the people you are making the memories with and the people that helped you get there.”
Smith was plagued by injuries in recent years and spent the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons off of the slopes. However, for Smith, there are many good memories.
“I have great memories of every stage of my career, but if I had to choose I would say the Olympics,” Smith said. “It is the pinnacle for every athlete. A medal would’ve been unbelievable, but just being there and representing the United States with thousands of other athletes, from all over the world, is something special. It’s probably the first thing that comes to mind since most little ones dream of being Olympians.”
Next up for Smith is coaching at the first American Downhillers camp in May with the likes of retired athlete Marco Sullivan and current racer Bryce Bennett.
“I am excited to work with guys like Marco, that have so much knowledge and experience,” said Smith. “These guys are all legends on the speed side. It will be great to hear their thoughts and understand concepts that they have been successful with. I don’t know if I have seen a camp that has more talented skiers and coaches in one place.”
THANK YOU to everybody for the cheers, the support, and the words of encouragement over the last ten years. I am so lucky to have had this experience and met so many influential people as well as made friendships that will last a lifetime. It was quite a ride and I am ready to be moving forward into the next phase of life. I will be taking every bit of knowledge, as well as all of the wonderful experiences with me. Thank you to my sponsors for your support through it all. Without you guys I would still be on the bunny hill, so thank you! @cranmoremountain @rossignol @rossignolracing @lange_boots @pocsports @reusch_brand @swix_sport #ajcolemanandsons @usskiteam wrote an article about my career with #whatmakesachamp built in. Links in my profile! ✌? Thank you all! ❤