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.”


Olympic Style


Image Map


After much anticipation, the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games are just a few days away, with the opening ceremonies this Friday, February 6. Olympic fever is running high and what better way to support Team USA than dressing just like them! Much of the official gear and apparel the athletes will be wearing is available in spectator editions, and many sport brands have released special red, white, blue, and star-spangled pieces for those excited to support the home team during their own outdoor athletic pursuits! A portion of the proceeds from many of these items go to support the athletes. So click above to shop and bring home your own gold with these limited edition sweaters, jackets, vests, helmets, goggles, sunglasses and more, guaranteed to keep the Olympic flame burning long after the games are over.

LEFT COLUMN: NIKE AEROLOFT 800 SUMMIT JACKET $450. A replica of what the Team USA Olympic athletes will be wearing on the podium in Sochi, this 800-fill Aeroloft insulated jacket provides hi-tech warmth and style. Available in silver and gold, titanium nano-coating reflects UV to retain body heat, while laser cut ventilation provides breathability. See the entire Nike Sochi Collection. PERFECT MOMENT AURORA JACKET $350. Although Perfect Moment is a French company, we share the red, white and blue! This weatherproof softshell jacket is designed for active use, both on and off the mountain. It is made with technical Schoeller Energear™, a revolutionary new fabric that retains heat by reflecting the body’s Far Infrared Rays (FIRs) back to the wearer. The theory is FIRs, like the suns rays, provide not just heat but energy that affects performance and overall wellbeing. Not bad for a patriotic little warm-up jacket! RALPH LAUREN TEAM USA CEREMONY ALEIGH BOOT $395. Designed exclusively for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team, the limited-edition classic Aleigh boot will make its debut in the opening ceremonies and is available for us here at home too.

CENTER COLUMN: JULBO EXPLORER $125-190. Julbo’s top-of-the-line mountaineering sunglass, the Explorer, is designed to perform in high altitude environments, where eyes are susceptible to damage from the sun and snow reflections. Explorer is available with either polarized, photochromic, or anti-fog lenses and come with removable eye protecting side shells. They are shown here in white, with red and blue accents, for added Olympic style. UVEX P1US CHROME SOCHI EDITION SKI HELMET $275. Uvex helmets will be seen on over 500 athletes in Sochi and from The Race Collection comes this style infused blue chrome ski helmet. Designed with the safety standards required of Olympic level competition, the P1US is also 16% lighter than traditional helmets, as well as being 100% recyclable. THE NORTH FACE INTERNATIONAL NUPTSE VEST $160. The North Face is an official sponsor of US Freeskiing and is the US Freeskiing official competition uniform supplier. Amply insulated with 700-fill goose down, this North Face classic, the Nuptse vest, is extremely warm, lightweight, and compressible for travel. This Limited Edition is available in the official colors of a variety of countries, and is shown here in the striped French edition. Read More