Each season the New England Ski Museum presents the Golden Ski Award to the most promising male and female junior alpine racers in the Eastern U.S. The awards will be presented at a reception and location to be determined at a later date.
Ava Sunshine Jemison
Jemison from Edwards, Colo., and Burke Mountain Academy posted great results during this challenging COVID-19 season earning her a nomination for the 2021-22 U.S. Ski Team’s Developmental Team. It all started with a third-place finish in slalom at Berchtesgaden-Jenner, Germany, and second- and third-place finishes in both GS races at Passo San Pellegrino, Italy. She continued by earning third place in Alpine Combined at Garmisch, Germany. She then returned home to compete in the U.S. nationals at Aspen, where she was the second junior and fourth overall in the Downhill. This was an amazing performance as it was her first ever downhill. Jemison continued with a third-place overall in the Alpine Combined.
This is Ritchie’s fourth Golden Ski Award. He navigated this very stressful, challenging COVID-19 season with great results starting with a Europa Cup victory in slalom at Meiringen Hasliberg, Switzerland, followed by the slalom gold medal at the prestigious World Juniors in Bansko, Bulgaria. Ben then continued to win at the U.S. nationals in Aspen taking his first slalom national championship. He has been nominated for the 2021-22 U.S. B Team.
The Golden Ski Award has been presented to the top junior male and female skiers in the East since 1969, the year after the modern World Cup circuit started. Many of the Golden Ski winners have gone on to World Cup success and to win Olympic gold.
In 1975, the Golden Ski was “lost.” In 2007, the New England Ski Museum was given some artifacts, and in that donation was the original Golden Ski. ESWA revitalized the honor.
“The Golden Ski Award is the oldest honor given to junior alpine ski racers that exists today,” says Jim Gregory, chair of the New England Ski Museum’s Golden Ski Award Committee. “We are proud this year to honor Ava Sunshine Jemison and four-time winner Ben Ritchie, two extraordinary athletes. We look forward to watching them pursue their goals and set the bar even higher in the sport we all love so much.”
Release courtesy of New England Ski Museum.