Vail 2015: Julia Ford


Earlier this week we got a chance to hang out with, Julia Ford, 24, a multi-disciplined U.S. Ski Team racer, as impressive off the course as on. We wanted to gain some insight into the events at the World Ski Championships here at Vail/Beaver Creek and who best to hear from but a pro!

Julia competed in Sochi at the 2014 Winter Olympics, and was a self-professed dark horse to make the team. “I had a great season leading up to the games”, she told us, “and earned enough World Cup points to be named to the Olympic Team. But I still had to fight for a spot and didn’t even know in which events I would be competing.” Primarily a Downhill skier, her east coast upbringing in Vermont gave her the technical skills strong enough to make the team as a Slalom skier, but with just three weeks to prepare.

Julia isn’t competing here, but is using this high level competition to train for upcoming World Cup events. She was the “forerunner” of the Ladies Downhill event on Friday — the first one down the course, racing it full speed to make sure it was good to go. Both speed events of the Ladies Downhill and Super-G were won by hundreths of second, and we asked her about these razor thin margins of victory, which can literally come down to which way the wind blows. “Sometimes it blows in your direction, sometimes not. It’s part of the ups and downs of the sport, and one of the variables you can’t do anything about. You just hope it blows your way on the bigger events.”


Julia embodies so many of the qualities you hope to see in a professional athlete – a great competitor and also a role model. As one of four kids in a ski racing family, the road to the U.S. Ski Team was pretty clear for Julia, who was ripping around Vermont’s Okemo Mountain at age three. A graduate of the Holderness School in New Hampshire, she served as the school’s president, and was the captain of both the varsity soccer and lacrosse teams — all while being a member of the U.S. Development Ski Team. Julia continues to be involved with the school as an ambassador. Her mom is a coach on the ski team, and Julia still goes back to ski with the kids and share her experiences.

Julia is also involved with YES in Boston which stands for Youth Enrichment Services. Their “Operation SnowSports” program gives urban youth the opportunity to gain new experiences in the great outdoors, interact with positive role models, and learn to ski and snowboard. Most recently she attended “Sisters On The Slope”, hanging out with the girls and teaching them to ski.  “Skiing has had a huge impact on who I am and the dreams I strive to achieve,” Julia says. “I hope to help others discover the power of belief, confidence, and possibility that I’ve learned through skiing, but can also be applied to all aspects of life.”