Aidan Ripp concludes first Olympic Trials experience
Aidan Ripp literally jumped into the Olympic world with both skis this month, first competing at the 2022 Beijing Olympic venue, and then by virtue of his results, was able to advance to the recently completed USA Nordic Olympic Trials in Lake Placid.
The 21-year-old Paul Smith’s College student, a competitor in Nordic Combined, placed 12th in the ski jumping portion of the event and eighth in cross country skiing in the winner-take-all event for a nomination to the 2022 United States Olympic Team. Ripp finished 12th overall in his first Olympic Trials.
“This has definitely been one of the craziest experiences and some of the most exciting skiing I’ve ever been a part of,” said the 4.0 biology student from Cloquet, Minn. “It was quite exciting to compete at my second home in the Adirondack Mountains.”
In near perfect winter conditions, Ripp went up against the nation’s best and most seasoned Nordic Combined athletes.
“I am just very proud of Aidan,” said Matt Dougherty, PSC head Nordic coach. “The Olympic Trials were thrilling and 12th place was a great result. We knew we had burned a lot of matches getting to the Beijing Continental Cup and back just a few weeks ago, but Aidan found fitness and form to come back and performed phenomenally at the Olympic Trials.”
Ripp battled against USA Nordic’s best in the discipline.
Taylor Fletcher, fourth place off the HS 100 hill at the Olympic Jumping Complex’s modernized venue, will be nominated to his fourth Olympic team with his victory on Christmas Eve. He overtook three others including veteran Ben Loomis, the jump leader, in the ski leg at Mount Van Hoevenberg. Fletcher was 56 seconds behind Loomis when the staggered ski start began.
Ripp is part of USA Nordic’s relationship with PSC. The school, located 20 miles from Lake Placid, is the Official Higher Education Partner of USA Nordic. Ripp also benefits from PSC’s sport and education initiative that enables student/athletes to pursue their sport internationally while simultaneously advancing their education.
“Having an athlete from Paul Smith’s College represent the college so well was a monumental day for the college and our program. All the credit goes to Aidan,” continued Dougherty. “I am excited to get back to work and get more Paul Smith’s athletes to the next Olympic Trials.”
The sophomore will now compete for the Bobcat Nordic ski team starting Jan. 15. Team training takes place on campus at the Saunders Nordic and Biathlon Venue. Ripp’s season will culminate with a Continental Cup meet in March in Lake Placid.
“I’m so happy to see the program at Paul Smith’s become stronger and even happier to be a part of such a great team,” added Ripp. “I can’t thank my coach Matt or the people of this great team enough. I feel proud to be a Smitty.
At Paul Smith’s College, it’s about the experience. As the only four-year institution of higher education located in the Adirondack Park in upstate New York, Paul Smith’s provides real-world, hands-on learning in fields such as business and hospitality, culinary management, forestry, environmental sciences and natural resources. We are able to draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. Our community of resourceful, enterprising, supportive and adventurous individuals collectively provide experiential education, student support in the classroom and beyond, and meaningful opportunities for our alumni. We pride ourselves on research and advocacy on issues that improve our planet and the lives of the people who inhabit it. Learn more at paulsmiths.edu »