Paul Smith’s College’s Aidan Ripp to compete in USA Nordic Olympic Trials

Dec 15, 2021 | News

Aidan Ripp has reached a milestone for himself and Paul Smith’s College. The sophomore from Cloquet, Minn. will participate in the USA Nordic Olympic Trials in Lake Placid on the day before Christmas.

Ripp, a competitor in Nordic combined, qualified Dec. 4-5 in Beijing at the Continental Cup event that served as the pre-Olympic test of the venue in Zhangjiakou’s Chongli district. The Winter Olympics begin in just eight weeks.

“This has been one of the most experiential trips in my career,” said Ripp. “Despite the challenges of travel, I was able to rely on my training and skills learned at Paul Smith’s College to get me the results I needed.”

At the trials, Ripp hopes to gift himself and his school the greatest of presents, namely a nomination to Team USA. Should that come to fruition, he would be the college’s first Olympian.

“It is gratifying to see an athlete train for basically two years without competition and to get the chance and execute at their best potential,” said Matt Dougherty, Paul Smith’s College (PSC) Nordic coach. “It is so hard for an athlete to train and be competition-ready at any time waiting on the opportunity, but Aidan has been diligent and patient in his training and he deserves so much credit for this performance.”

Getting to this point, however, has not been easy for Ripp, who battled through the pandemic and limited ski jump training while the Lake Placid jumps were being updated and modernized.

Prior to Beijing, the 21-year-old was just outside the points for a chance to qualify for the Games. Now, however, he’s entered in the trials slated for Dec. 24 at the Olympic Sports Complex (cross country skiing) and Olympic Jumping Complex (ski jumping).

Both local venues have benefited from a massive financial infusion by New York State that has brought them into international compliance for competition and more. They can now host the world’s elite Nordic skiers such as Ripp and the fans that follow them, as well as the recreational public.

With new venues and an accommodating campus, Ripp found himself in the Adirondacks at just the right time.

“It’s rewarding to have provided the platform for him to continue pursuing his sport here at PSC while also pursuing a world-class education,” concluded Dougherty.

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 »



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