The Stiegler’s Jackson Hole Racing Royalty

The Stiegler’s Jackson Hole Racing Royalty

Racing Relations
Pepi and Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole’s once and future Olympians
By Cynthia Psarakis

What becomes an Austrian ski racing legend most? Medals, yes, but having the kids follow in your tracks is pretty nifty too. SNOW caught up with three-time Olympic medalist Pepi Stiegler and daughter Resi, the 2007 U.S. slalom/giant slalom champion, for the scoop on, well, read for yourselves.

On growing up Stiegler:
Resi: My parents worked at the ski school at Teton Village so I would just go to work with them everyday and ski. It was my day care, and my playground was Jackson Hole Mountain Resort — it was the most fun and free thing a kid could get into. Skiing was my passion and I just happened to be good at it.
Pepi: Resi chose racing on her own accord — I never suggested it. But it’s fine with me, I welcome it.
Resi: My father probably couldn’t have cared less if I raced. He knew there are a lot of hardships that come along with it, so he just wanted me to do whatever it was I was passionate about. Skiing was it for me.

On the Stiegler Olympic legacy:
Pepi: We’ve never discussed it, but I believe she was influenced by what I did. Growing up in Jackson Hole, it was natural for her to become an excellent skier, to be drawn into a skier’s life.
Resi: I was always fascinated with the Olympics; I wanted to win a gold medal from the time I was really young . I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into.

 

On that awful crash, and what comes next:
Resi: The crash in Copper was totally out of the blue and it was a big hear tbreaker — I was strong and healthy and it just wasn’t supposed to happen. But that’s ski racing. It’s a long road to recovery but I’ve done it before and I know I can do it again. My whole family is very supportive of me — they know this is what I love and that I work hard at it, so they will support anything I believe in. And my coaches have an amazing comeback program. They push me and help me every step of the way. It’s truly amazing how everyone believes in someone’s little dream!

Now my sights are set on Sochi — the joke around here is that I’m training for it before anyone else has even started thinking about it!

Pepi: I didn’t give Resi any advice on her recovery. As a parent I didn’t want to raise the issue of her continuing her career; I felt it was best for her to decide to come back from her last injury and sort out her plans. But she’s very strong-minded and completely dedicated.  She hasn’t lost her focus on what she wants to achieve. I believe that in spite of her mishaps she’ll be able to come back stronger.