Sammamish’s Brooke Wales is one of the best ski racers in the world. She’s ranked in the Top-75 in the Super G, the Top-200 in the Giant Slalom, and recently made the U.S. Ski Team. Hearing that, you’d probably think she fell in love with the sport the first time she hit the slopes. She didn’t.
“I did not like it when I was little,” Wales said.
During those early days all she could really do was complain about the cold and beg for hot chocolate. She stuck with it, though, mostly because that’s what the rest of her family did for fun nearly every chance they got.
Then Wales started making friends on the slopes, started to have a good time, and started to get fast. And without really thinking about it, she took to the sport.
“I really grew to love it,” Wales said.
Wales then committed herself to the sport and decided to be the best skier she could. She got into training programs and joined racing clubs like the Stevens Pass Alpine Club and the Mission Ridge Ski Team in Wenatchee.
Eventually Wales started competing at a local level, then branched out to regional events, and at 16 competed in her first national event. Now 21, she competes in the Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G and Downhill in events all over the world.
After graduating from Eastside Catholic High School in 2009, Wales decided to take a year off to focus on her skiing. That commitment paid off with recent success in the Super G and Giant Slalom and earned her a spot on the U.S. Ski Team.
Making the U.S. team was the realization of a big dream for Wales, one she was ecstatic to see come true.
“It was exciting to get the phone call from the coach,” Wales said.
Wales also said that it was a blast when she got all of her official U.S. Ski Team gear, a feeling most athletes can probably identify with.
“That was really exciting for me,” Wales said.
Off the slopes, Wales has decided to continue with her education. She’s started taking college classes at Westminster College in Utah, where she does a lot of training, and has an interest in studying sports science. She’s happy to be back in school even if it is on a limited basis.
“I really missed it,” Wales said.
Wales also spends a fair amount of time working and raising the funds she needs to train, something she says has been a challenge. Different people and organizations have continually come through for her, though.
“I’ve received so much help,” Wales said.
With that help Wales hopes to move up on the U.S. ski team. She is currently on the team’s “C” unit, the bottom rung of the team. Her next goal is to move up to the “B” unit and then hopefully the “A” unit and maybe one day compete at the Olympics.
“It’d be so amazing to compete in the Olympics,” Wales said.