Dunbarton, NH (April 21, 2015) — Nina O’Brien and Drew Duffy were selected by the North American Snowsports Journalists Association East Region (NASJA East), as this year’s winners of the Don A. Metivier Golden Ski Award. The award is given to the most promising male and female junior alpine racers in the eastern U.S.
Nina O’Brien skis out of Vermont’s Burke Mountain Academy and Drew Duffy, from Warren, VT, competes out of the Green Mountain Valley School.
The awards will be presented at the New England Ski Museum’s annual spring reception on Friday, June 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. in Franconia, N.H.
The 2014-15 ski season was a stellar one for O’Brien; consistency was the name of her game. She started out strong and kept it going all season long, culminating in late March by winning the US Alpine Giant Slalom Championship title at Sugarloaf, Maine.
She followed that up in April with second place finishes in both the Giant Slalom and Slalom at FIS competitions in Vail, Colo. In February, she won the Slalom title at the National Junior Championships at Copper Mountain, Colo. and was 1st in Junior Giant Slalom and Slalom races at Passo Rolle, Italy in early January.
Duffy started out the 2014-2015 season roughly, with a number of DNF’s, as skiing on the edge can do. He finished 9th in the Super G in December at the NORAM’s in Panorama, BC, and 16th in the Super G at Hafjell, Norway in the World Junior Championships.
Then things started to come together for him. He won the US Alpine National Super G Championship in March at Sugarloaf, Maine, incredibly from starting position 30 and followed that up in April with 5th in the Super G at Sunday River, Maine. He then placed 1st in the Super G and 2nd in Downhill at FIS competition in Aspen, Colo.
The Golden Ski Award has been presented to the top junior male and female skiers in the East since 1969, the year after the modern World Cup circuit scoring system started. Many of the Golden Ski winners have gone on to World Cup and Olympic fame.
In 1975, the actual Golden Ski trophy was “lost.” In 2007, the New England Ski Museum was given some artifacts, and in that donation was the original Golden Ski award. ESWA revitalized the honor, and named it in memory of long-time snowsports journalist Don A. Metivier, former editor of Ski Racing Magazine.
“The Golden Ski Award is the oldest honor given to junior alpine ski racers that exists today,” says Jim Gregory, Chair of the NASJA East Golden Ski Award Committee.
“We are proud this year to honor Nina O’Brien and Drew Duffy, two extraordinary athletes, and we look forward to watching them pursue their goals and set the bar even higher in the sport we all love so much.”
The Golden Ski Award is underwritten by the generous support of Doyle & Doyle Communications and K2 Skis.
Here is the list of previous Golden Ski Award Winners:
1969: Tyler Palmer, Karen Middleton
1970: Charles Bent, Karen Middleton
1971: Rod Taylor, Judy McNealus
1972: Laurent Gaudin, Jody Palmer
1973: Jerry McNealus, No female winner
1974: No award
1975: Scott Light, Holly Flanders
1976-2007: Award Lost
2008: Bump Heldman, Julia Ford
2009: Nolan Kasper, Julia Ford
2010: Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Julia Ford
2011: Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Mikaela Shiffrin
2012: Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Mikaela Shiffrin
2013: Kieffer Christianson, Mikaela Shiffrin
2014: Sam Morse, Alice Merryweather