The applicants for this season’s Stacey Cook SVST Scholarship were so impressive Cook and Sun Valley Ski Tools decided to award six winners for the first time in the history of the program.

Cook said she wished she could give the scholarship to everyone who applied — they were all that good.

“This year I had to have a committee help me because the quality of the applicants has gotten so high,” said Cook. “The committee narrowed it down to 15, and then I get the final say. It’s so hard because every application you read, you want to give something. You want to help that kid.”

Cook said although the six-winner outcome was in response to the caliber of the applicants, it’s something she hopes they will continue in the future. Each scholarship recipient receives a shopping spree of $500 in tools and $500 in wax. 

“I think everyone involved wants to keep the program growing,” said Cook. “Thomas Walsh was the first application that ever made me cry. He is just such a cool kid and such a cool story. His application was so over the top. It really stood out to me.”

Congratulations to the 2012 Stacey Cook SVST Scholarship recipients!

Thomas Walsh

Thomas is a from Vail, Colo., but attends Green Mountain Valley School in Vermont. Thomas’ dream of being on the US Ski Team have temporarily been put on hold, as he faces another challenge — surviving cancer. After being diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, Thomas has endured countless invasive surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. Even with all he has been through, he considers being able to get back on snow as his greatest achievement. Thomas is known for his uber-positive attitude and he obviously doesn’t know what quit means, which makes him a perfect fit for the Stacey Cook/SVST Scholarship.

Michael Cooper

Michael is a promising young ski racer from Sugar Bowl Academy. Michael is described by his coach as being “among the most gracious, humble and hard working” skiers he has ever worked with. Michael was thrilled to participate in the U16 Skills Assessment Camp in Park City last spring. He volunteers his time in the summer to teach inner-city children how to ride horses.

Sky Kelsey

Sky is a talent-filled teen from Aspen who expresses himself through irish music and ski racing. Sky has World Cup and Olympic-sized goals. He proved he is on the right track by winning the U16 Skills Assessment Camp in Park City. Sky’s coach says that what makes him special is that he is “more concerned about the process of ski racing than he is about results.” In the future he would like to attend the University of Limerick to continue his studies of Traditional Irish Music and become a performing musical artist. Sky’s application included 11 letters of recommendation (only 3 were required) that unanimously agreed Sky is a worth recipient of the Scholarship.

Mary (Rotten) Totten

Mary is an athlete whose applications have impressed Cook year after year, and this is the year her perseverance paid off. With a special recommendation from SVST themselves, after she showed up at the SVST storefront on they day of the applications deadline to ensure her application was included, Mary is what this program is all about. Her dedication, perseverance and hard work make her stand out against her peers. Mary has logged over 200 hours as a student athletic trainer in the past year and has hopes to ski for a NCAA team or for the US Ski Team.

Hannah Johnson

From Incline Village, Nevada, Hannah will be attending Sugar Bowl Academy for the first time this coming Winter. She says she has had her “share of ups and downs in ski racing” and that because of her fiercely competitive nature this has been a challenge. Learning to turn bad performance into motivation for the future has been a big accomplishment for her. Her coach says “Her genuine kindheartedness and desire for success separate her from her peers and distinguish her as more than just an athlete.”

Juliette Parke

This Alaska girl turned Romark athlete has a family as dedicated to her dreams as she is. Juliette’s mother has moved South to Utah with her so she could attend the prestigious Romark Ski Academy. She says her greatest achievement off snow is maintaining a 4.0 for her whole life. On the snow, she was third place in Western Region Championships as a “first year.” In her peer letter of recommendation, Hannah’s friend says she is “always happiest when she has her skis on, and that she is not just a phenomenal skier, but a phenomenal person. She is the most talented, determined, smart, and nice person I have ever met.”

Photo: GEPA

Article Tags: Alpine , Top Story
Geoff Mintz
Geoff Mintz is a former alpine ski racer who cut his teeth at Ragged Mountain and Waterville Valley, N.H. After graduating from Holderness and UVM, he relocated to Colorado, where he worked as an instructor at Beaver Creek prior to pursuing a career in journalism.



Nov 22 2012
Malmstrom takes second Europa Cup in Levi
Nov 21 2012
Austrians one-two in first training run at Lake Louise
Related Articles