Landon's Application Letter
My name is Landon Marquis, and I am 15 from Appleton, Maine. First, I wanted to say thank you for this amazing opportunity. Ski racing is not for the faint of heart, and it's an incredible feeling coming down a ski course.
I began ski racing roughly ten years ago at Camden Snow Bowl in Camden, Maine. I quickly fell in love with the sport and spent every possible day on the snow. As a 2nd year U12, I asked my coaches questions about how I could improve my technique, but they didn't have much advice. My parents noticed that the coaching staff was unable to help me get to the next level of ski racing, so they made it possible for me to train in New Hampshire.
I transitioned to FSC as a 1st year U14; this was an eye-opening experience coming from an 800ft mountain to over 4,000ft mountain. I quickly realized I had a lot to learn and pushed myself during every training opportunity, later earning the respect of my coaches and peers. I received the most improved award two years in a row during U14's. I also made it to NHARA state championships every year, Eastern Championships for U14 & U16, and Sugarloaf invitational SG camps for U16. My coaches often commented on how my skiing is natural and how I am a coachable athlete, using my skiing as an example for my peers.
I currently ski for Franconia Ski Club at Cannon Mountain in Franconia, New Hampshire's U16 winter term program. Last year I managed to balance Winter Term at FSC, where we skied six days a week, had 23 races, traveled throughout NH, VT, and ME and recovered from a significant injury in March while taking all honors courses my freshman year, and ending my year with a 4.09 weighted GPA & 3.95 unweighted GPA.
During the summers, I work roughly 30 hrs. a week to help my parents pay for my racing equipment and training. Unfortunately, I was unable to work this past summer due to my injuries.
Aside from ski racing, my other passion is flying. I am currently a student pilot; I fly twice a week to maintain my flight training and gain the necessary hours to pass my private pilot's license at 17. I enrolled in taking multiple aviation courses at UMA this Spring.
I have volunteered in the past and currently applied last winter to volunteer for the Travis Mills Foundation, working with veterans and their families. This was postponed this summer due to my injuries, but I will be volunteering with the Travis Mills Foundation this fall and am looking forward to it.
I find ski racing is not for the faint of heart, it constantly demands physical, mental, and emotional sacrifice to compete. Learning to control and channel your emotions, such as anxiety, fear, and adrenaline, is only half the battle. Ski racing is the most demanding and unforgiving sport I have ever encountered.
Last year I suffered a terrible crash during a Super-G event at Attitash. I suffered a severe concussion, an L2 spinal fracture, and L4 & L5 ruptured disks, leaving me bedridden for almost a month. This injury was mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting, knowing that I was unable to end my season the way I expected. I needed assistance from my parents with most daily functions, which I used to take for granted, and now I realize I am not invincible. I spent the next six months twice a week in physical therapy, rebuilding what muscle mass I had left. I have been focusing on weight training, cardio, and yoga every other day in the gym to prepare for this season. Though it broke my bones, it did not break my spirit.
I feel you should choose me for the cover of race place magazine. I have always had a positive attitude regarding everything life throws at me. After suffering a traumatic ski injury that would sideline most athletes, I feel it made me a stronger individual. The wins and losses I have experienced in ski racing have made me a better person, ski racer and son. I am truly thankful for my family's sacrifices to ensure I can keep doing what I love.
We applaud Landon's spirit and are honored to have him as our 2022-2023 cover winner and grant him the award of $3,000 in gear to assist in reaching his goals!
Madison's Application Letter
My name is Madison Vieara-McCarthy, and I am from Olympic Valley, California. This year I made the big move to Sun Valley, Idaho, from Tahoe and joined Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation for my first year of FIS.
My lifelong goals in ski racing are to make the U.S. Ski Team and race Division 1 in college. I am super excited for this next season with my new team. I think making this decision to move reflects my dedication to improving in the sport, and I am confident that this is the right next step to help me achieve my goals.
My goals this season are to qualify for U18 Nationals and be ranked #1 in downhill and super-g for my age group in the western region. I have just started to get into speed, and I am very excited for FIS since there will be many more opportunities to race Downhill and Super-G.
Coming from Palisades Tahoe, there are so many amazing speed skiers in our valley that I really look up to. It is super cool to know that they came through the same program I did and that if they can do it, I can too.
Some accomplishments I am most proud of are qualifying for U16 Nationals in 2022 and a top ten result in Super-G at the 2022 Western Regionals. I am currently ranked number three in the nation for my age class in GS, along with a top ten in downhill.
The 2022 season was a breakthrough season for me. I am proud of all the hard work I put in over the summer and throughout the season to accomplish my goal of qualifying for U16 Nationals despite never even having qualified for Western Regionals before. This season came with many challenges, and although I had some good results, my races were frustrating compared to my success in training. I am most proud of my second run in the GS race at Regionals this year. Coming off a successful GS series at home with two podiums, I had high hopes for this race. A tough mistake in the first run left me in 21st, and with the goal of Nationals in mind, I really had to bring it for the second run. I left it all out on the hill during that second run, and although it wasn’t perfect, I am proud of my grit and will to push through. Finishing with the fourth fastest time of that run, I finished the race in tenth overall.
I fought every gate to finish that race, and I am very proud of that, even though the result was not what I had set out for. Always giving your very best and never counting yourself out are two lessons skiing has taught me that I will carry on with me forever in all aspects of my life.
This past summer, I really started to focus on my training off the hill and started working more closely with our team dryland coach and a separate trainer with a small group of friends. I worked super hard all summer long, often working out alone for hours early in the morning or late at night. I also started to focus more on my equipment and tuning. I began to keep a journal specifically for my equipment to track what I liked and didn’t like about my skis/boots/wax each day, so I could better prepare for races.
Some other things I like to do other than skiing are playing soccer, wake surfing, and hanging out with my friends. Last fall, I played high school varsity soccer for North Tahoe High School, and we won States in our division! I have played soccer my whole life, and I really loved the high school team dynamic I was part of last year.
I also really like school and learning. This year will be my first year back to in-person school after three years of 100% online school. I am especially excited to take an in-person math class because math is my favorite subject and online school made it challenging. I finished my sophomore year in the spring with honors credit in every class and an unweighted 4.0 GPA. I hope to ski race in college, and academics are very important to me. I work really hard to do my best in school and keep my grades up while on the road.
One of my favorite non-racing ski team memories from the past few seasons has been volunteering at the U10-U12 speed camp at Palisades Tahoe each spring. Speed is my favorite discipline in ski racing, and this is the very same camp where I got my very first speed exposure from. It is super cool to be able to give back by coaching the younger girls and getting them comfortable and confident in a high-speed environment and on jumps at our home hill.
Winning this cover contest would help me start my FIS career off on the right foot by giving me the financial resources to get my equipment and tuning needs all dialed in. I think my passion for the sport and my hardworking and kind nature make me a qualified recipient for this scholarship. I thank you for giving us this opportunity and considering me in this application process.
We appreciate Madison’s passion and welcome her as our back cover athlete along with the $1,500 award.