Laurenne Ross has a natural ability for speed. At the age of 2, roped up to her dad, she was already on the ski slopes, starting her journey to become a 2x Olympic and World Cup skier and member of one of the fastest women’s downhill teams in the world.
And while she proved to be a talented skier early on, Laurenne pursued other passions of hers including gymnastics, music and photography. “I never had a goal to become an Olympic skier when I was a kid. When I was a teenager, I was racing on the weekends throughout the Pacific Northwest but was also enjoying singing in my school choir and playing violin. I applied to colleges like everyone else, and had planned to attend Denver University. When I got the invitation to join the US Ski Team, I accepted and deferred college, but I still didn’t think of skiing as a career. In fact, I didn’t have an ‘aha’ moment until I arrived in Sochi for the Olympics, where I finally thought ‘wow, this is really happening.’”
“I have friends from all over the world. Participating in this sport has given me a real sense of community; we are all interconnected and I feel so fortunate, so lucky, to have had the opportunity to share such meaningful experiences with the folks in the ski community.”
Laurenne attributes her success in skiing to perseverance and determination. “Every step towards my success was small, but I was committed to getting better every year.” She also did not give up on her music and art, often traveling with a camera to capture her experiences on the racing circuit. “Art and skiing are not disparate. Like art, skiing is a form of self expression. Skiers have different styles and the sport allows you to move and express yourself in different ways. It’s also very meditative and allows me to reach a flow state. You have to be fully present when racing due to the risks involved, and it’s helped me be present when I’m focused on my art.”
Photo credit: Caitlin Eddolls
Finding connection between her sport and art, Laurenne recently published a book called “Approach” which is a compilation of stunning images she captured from several locations around the world, using film as her medium. (http://www.laurenneross.com/store/p1/Approach.html). She is also applying for graduate school, where she will continue to apply her artistic talent while studying sustainable architecture.
Now retired from ski racing, Laurenne possesses a sense of community that she values deeply and will take with her wherever she goes. “I have friends from all over the world. Participating in this sport has given me a real sense of community; we are all interconnected and I feel so fortunate, so lucky, to have had the opportunity to share such meaningful experiences with the folks in the ski community.”
Laurenne’s reason for becoming a Champion for Every Kid Sports? “Every kid deserves the right to participate in sports, but not everyone has access. Winter sports, especially skiing, are incredibly expensive — too expensive for most families to afford. I want to help increase access to skiing and other sports, as I know they can shape a child’s life for the better. Every Kid Sports is such a great organization, and I really believe in the work they’re doing to make sports more accessible to future Olympians.”
We appreciate your friendship and support, Laurenne!
– Every Kid Sports