Senior Anja Kroon has been able to masterfully balance her academic schedule along with her passion for competitive skiing. In the fall and spring months, she attends classes on the Gill campus. In the winter months, however, Kroon can be found competitively skiing on the snowy mountains of Vermont as she attends the Killington Mountain School.
“I started to learn how to ski as soon as I could stand,” explained Kroon. “I really started training however when I was six or seven. That is when I joined the Killington Ski Club and got into the Alpine Program on the weekends. I did that until fifth grade and it slowly started to increase. In sixth grade I was there for a month, seventh grade for three months and now I am there for five months out of the year.”
Anja’s days are usually scheduled and full every hour. A typical day for Anja includes four hours of rigorous training along with six hours in the classroom.
“Time is always limited,” she said. “This sport can be quite consuming so I had to really learn time management. Also, when you’re on the road for these high-level competitions the teachers obviously can’t travel with you so have to stay disciplined and on top of your studies.”
So far, her hard work has paid off. She has advanced to compete in races in the FIS – International Ski Federation – and the United States Ski Association circuits. She will also be attending the prestigious McGill University in Montreal, Canada next fall where she has been accepted into the Electrical Engineering program and will be a member of the school’s Women’s Alpine Racing Team.
Kroon was also given the experience of a lifetime this past November as she was asked to be a junior announcer during NBC’s broadcast of the Women’s Alpine World Cup that was hosted in Killington. She was among a few athletes selected by her school to audition and was selected for the broadcaster position. She served as the live technical announcer, describing the racers technique during the races. Overall, her broadcasts reached more than 20,000 listeners.
“I really credit being able to do color commentating to my English classes at Gill,” she explained. “Those classes are always discussion based, and we have to debate and comment and have discussions with our peers so I was prepared to just speak on the spot. It was really quite an interesting experience and I had a lot of adrenaline while doing it!”
Despite the long days, extreme cold on northern New England mountains, and being away from home for months at a time, Kroon has enjoyed this incredible journey that has led to so much opportunity.
“I am glad I did this because I appreciate a lot of in the moment,” she said. “My home school will always be Gill and I would like to thank my GSB teachers for being so cooperative and supportive while I was at the Killington Mountain School. Because of this unique experience, I appreciate being in class and having the teacher be there to actually teach and being there with your classmates and having great discussions. That is what I will always remember at Gill.”