|PARK CITY, Utah (May 6) - Olympian and U.S. champion Libby Ludlow (Seattle, WA) has retired after 10 years of competition with the U.S. Ski Team, according to Alpine Director Jesse Hunt. Ludlow, who accomplished her many successes during one of the strongest decades in U.S. skiing history, said she was proud of her accomplishments on the Team and looked forward to her future."The fact that I am healthy right now and can walk away from the sport healthy, happy and satisfied with what I've accomplished is what I've always wanted. It feels really good," Ludlow said about her retirement. "It was clear that now is my time to walk away. I feel really good about my career and I am excited about what lies ahead."|
Ludlow, a 2006 Olympic skier and 2004 U.S. giant slalom champion, had an extraordinary racing career that took her around the world resulting in 45 top-30 World Cup results, three of which were finishes within the top 10.
Ludlow was a member of the 2007 and 2003 World Championships teams. World Championships are the highest level of competition outside of the Olympics and held every odd-numbered year. Only the top skiers in the nation qualify to compete. At the 2007 Alpine World Championships in Are, Sweden, Ludlow finished ninth in super G and was ranked 10th in the world in the discipline heading into the 2007 season.
"Libby has been an incredible national team member over the past 10 years. Not only has she attained top level World Cup and World Championship performances during her career, she has been an inspiration to her teammates and to the ski racing community as a whole," Hunt said. "She has demonstrated a tenacious ability to overcome injuries and adversity. Libby has incredible determination and it will undoubtedly serve her well in her transition."
Ludlow plans on taking the next year to complete her undergraduate degree and travel abroad to be certified as a yoga instructor.
"I'll be graduating from Dartmouth a year from now with a degree in philosophy modified with Eastern religion," Ludlow said. "Then I plan to travel to India to get my yoga certification. I've been doing yoga for 11 years and it is something I plan to use to transition into the real world."
After many seasons spent away from home, Ludlow also wants to spend downtime in the next year with her family and friends.
"I really look forward to spending time with the people I love. I'm going to take the opportunity to enjoy my family and friends," Ludlow said. "I have sacrificed a lot to be on the Team." Ludlow and her teammates spend at least six months abroad each year racing on the World Cup circuit and training on glaciers around the globe.
Though the future holds an incredible amount of opportunity for Ludlow, her time with the U.S. Ski Team is unforgettable for her.
"I will always remember the U.S. Ski Team with fondness. My ten years on the U.S. Ski Team helped mold me into the person I am today and I am very grateful for the amazing experiences the Team afforded me," Ludlow said. "I had the privilege of working with wonderful coaches, became friends with some incredible individuals, and skied alongside tremendous athletes."
photos Janos Schmidt