Wiley Maple

October 16, 2017

After being forced to miss the 2016/2017 ski season to recover from an knee and back surgery, I am back at it and making a push for World Cup success and the Olympics in South Korea.

Last winter I attended Westminster College in Salt Lake City where I maintained a 3.9 GPA while rehabbing at the USST training center in Park City. Unfortunately, this spring the Ski Team opted not to rename me to the USST as they thought I could not come back from injury and time off of snow. While returning to a high level of athletic achievement after injury is never certain, after a period of introspection, my passion and confidence to return to ski racing continues to burn brightly. Freed from the USST dictating my training, I returned home to Aspen for the first summer in over a decade and changed my training. Instead of focusing training in a gym and weight room, I opted to do moderate weight training at the Aspen Valley Ski/Snowboard Club, work with the extraordinary physical therapist Glenn McLeod and play any sport I could - mountain bike, running, hiking, softball, soccer, hockey, volleyball, skate boarding and dirt biking. Skiing is unlike any sport on Earth with infinitely changing variables that require diverse athletic skills. Returning to form as a complete athlete, able to adapt to change and follow the movements and patterns of so many different sports will allow me to succeed on the constantly changing variables that are inherent in World Cup Downhill racing.  Thanks to changing up my training, my body feels better than it has in almost a decade. In August I was invited to join the US World Cup Speed Team in Chile. After over 1 1/3 years off skis, I quickly got up to speed and was competitive with the US team athletes and other World Cup racers.

My body held up better than it has in years and I was able to ski double training sessions 25 out of 30 days confirming to my coaches that I still have the speed and drive to be competitive. Chile was a success and combined with pre-season camp at Copper Mountain, Colorado I skied more this prep period than I have in 5 years! The US Ski team has awarded me World Cup starts in Lake Louise, Beaver Creek and invited me to join them in Europe.

Unfortunately, short of being an A team athlete ranked in the top 25 in the world, training for and competing on the World Cup costs in excess of $30,000 for travel, lodging, training and racing.

I grew up in Aspen, Colorado and started ski racing for the Aspen Valley Ski/ Snowboard Club at age 9. I was named to the US Ski Team in 2008, the year I graduated Aspen High School.

06-2007: I won the Overall Junior National Champion title with a win in Downhill, 2nd in Slalom, 3rd in Super G and 6th in Giant Slalom. 

07-2008: I won the Surefoot Rocky Mountain Trophy Series Overall Downhill Championship and was named to the US World Junior Championship team competing in Formigal, Spain. At age 17, I was the youngest athlete on the US team.

08-2009: In my first season on the US Ski Team, I was the fastest US junior (under 20) Downhill athlete. Again I was named to the US World Junior Championship Team competing in Garmisch, Germany. I won the first Downhill training run and placed 6th in the race, the top US finish.

09-2010: I continued on the US Ski Team’s D Team, but struggled through a rough season of injuries. For the 3rd time, I was named to the US World Junior Team. I was the fastest US athlete in both speed events held in Chamonix, France with a 9th in Downhill and 14th in Super G.

10-2011: After a rough 2010 season, I missed 2011 US Ski Team Criteria, but was invited to train and travel full time with the US Ski Team’s Europa Cup Team. I started off quickly, winning the first North American (NorAm) Downhill race of the season. The win earned me my first World Cup start in Wengen, Switzerland. I returned to Aspen for the final NorAm Downhills of the season where I won again to lock up the NorAm Downhill Title. I went on to race World Cups in Chamonix, France and Kvitjfell, Norway. Winning in Aspen secured a spot for me on the US Ski Team’s B team and World Cup Downhill team for the 11-2012 season.

11-2012: I spent the entire ski season racing the World Cup Speed Circuit worldwide. I raced every World Cup downhill this season and narrowly missed the top 30 on countless occasions. I scored my first World Cup points in Val Gardena, Italy starting 61st in a SG and finishing 29th. I was an unbelievable experience racing all the oldest tracks in the world from Kitzbuhel to Wengen and everything in-between, I cant wait to see what I can do this year now that I have a little course knowledge.

12-2013: After a hard pre season returning from injury I won my first Europa-cup Downhill in Val d’Isere, France becoming one of only a few Americans to win in a Europa-cup event. I also competed on the World Cup Circuit through-out the season.

13-2014: Unfortunately I blew my knee in November so I took a full load of classes at Westminster College.

14-2015: I entered the season strong, moving from 61st to finish 22nd a career best finish in the seasons first World Cup. I headed to Beaver Creek confidence high but unfortunately dislocated my elbow on a recovery run the night before taking my out of competition for over a month. After a couple weeks attempting to get back up to speed I had another career best in Saalbach, Austria finishing in 17th. I finished the World Cup season in 47th. To close the season I won the US National Downhill title in Sugarloaf, Maine.   

15-2016: After a rough summer with no training due to a back and knee surgery- I was able to salvage the season with 3 top 30 finishes in Kitzbhule, Garmisch and Pyong Chang. Following the conclusion of the WC season I was able to defend my National DH title on home soil. Racing the 2017 World Cup Finals track in Aspen, CO. I am looking forward to a new season with no injuries to hold me back and am excited to see what I can accomplish.

Video Introduction:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2FfGZFHetc

Saalbach WC:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycE4BNRXuoc

US Nationals SG:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8S8GGFLGzM

Just for fun video of Christmas break with the boys:

http://vimeo.com/18116372

 



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