What started as a post-training ‘wouldn’t it be cool if…’ scheme between U.S. Ski Team athletes Brennan Rubie, Alice McKennis, and Katie Ryan has finally come to fruition in the form of “Under the Suit: The Bodies of the Ski Team”, a naked calendar of national team athletes in their element on the hill, in the mountains, or in the gym.
“We were just hanging out, talking about the team and where we were and how we were going to solve the issues we all face like coming up with the money (to compete) every season,” said Rubie. “We were just like, ‘What can we do to get this going?'”
It was Ryan, drawing inspiration from ESPN the Magazine’s annual Body Issue, who hatched the idea of U.S. Ski Team athletes doing something similar.
This past spring, Rubie and a handful of his teammates got together during their training camp in Norway and decided to finally get the project going. After an afternoon’s worth of taking ski pictures in the nude, the group had a starting point they could use to get more people interested in the project. The finished product features both men and women and includes shots of Olympic medalists Ted Ligety and Andrew Weibrecht.
“We reached out to everybody we thought would be interested,” Rubie said. “We reached out to D-Team athletes all the way to the A-Team. From all those, we have about 20 athletes that are helping with the production.”
Rubie explained that in order to have a photo in the calendar, the athlete must be 18-years-old, although younger athletes were encouraged to get involved in the process in different ways.
“Because we wanted it to be a team project and have everybody involved, we told the younger people that the way this is going to be successful is if you guys share it, make content for it, and basically tell your own story,” he said. “That’s what is going to make this successful even if you aren’t featured in February’s pictures.”
The photos featured in the calendar were taken by photographers Johnathan Selkowitz, Julie Shipman, and Mike Schirf and feature athletes either skiing, working out in the gym, or enjoying their favorite non-skiing activity like mountain biking or fly fishing. Included in the calendar is the full 2016-17 World Cup schedule, so you know just when to watch your favorite athletes compete — fully clothed — on the slopes this winter.
Calendars can be purchased for a base donation of $60 by visiting their website, alpine-aspirations.com. All donations are fully tax deductible and will be received by the World Cup Dreams Foundation, a 501 C3 non-profit organization that has helped fund national team athletes for over a decade.