Go out and ski what looks fun to you, and push yourself. Go through the finish line and have fun-Crystal Wright What do barrel racing and big mountain skiing have in common-in this week’s episode I ask Wyoming native Crystal Wright what the commonalities between horses and big mountain ski lines. Crystal shares her thoughts about her athletic careers as well as what it’s like to start your own business, a non-profit, and running women’s ski camps. Thanks for listening!
I was born in Jackson Hole Wyoming in 1982, my parents had moved to Jackson to be ski bums in the 70’s and have resided there ever since. I remember skiing on wooden skis down my driveway when I was 2 years old. When I was five years old my family took a managing position at Big Sandy Ranch in Pinedale, WY right at the base of the Wind River Mountain range. The ranch was 2 hours from Jackson, 50 miles from the closest town and had no electricity. So I would spend my summers on a ranch and my winters in Jackson, I felt very lucky to live in two such beautiful places. I started showing horses, barrel racing and roping when I was nine years old, that is how I would spend my summers. Having the Wind River and Teton mountain ranges in my back yard has also opened me up to the world of rock climbing and mountain biking which I love almost as much as skiing.
I started ski racing with the Jackson Hole Ski Club when I was nine and worked my way up the ranks of ski racing. I became a member of the Western Region Elite Ski Team when I was 15 and later traveled with U.S. Ski Team through Europe and South America until I was 20 years old. In 2002 I was chosen to forerun the Women’s Olympic downhill in Snowbasin Utah and was the first person to ski the course. It was one of the best experiences of my life being able to compete with the best women skiers in the world. I also had many top 5 results in various downhill Nor-Ams and raced Europa Cup downhills. I then went on to college where I had to transfer my talent to the technical events and raced NCAA skiing at Montana State University. I also was a member of the Rodeo team as well, so I traveled much during the fall and winter months of college.
During my racing career I never lost my love for freeskiing and skiing the Jackson Hole backcountry. I couldn’t wait until my racing career was over and I would be able to compete and ski on the big mountain circuit. Through all my years of racing the one thing that kept me competing at such a high level for so long was being able to go ski powder and steeps with my friends and family.
After spending 9 years competing on the Freeskiing and Freeride World Tours I have now retired from following the tour. I won the Freeskiing World tour in 2009 and 2012 and was on the podium 22 times. I am still pushing myself in the skiing through skiing more in the mountains and doing a competition or two every season. I own my own gym Wright Training www.jhwrighttraining.com
that works with bringing people back from injury and getting people to perform at their best in the mountains. I cofounded the Jackson Hole Babe Force www.jhbabeforce.com
in 2012 which brings ladies together to share their passions in the mountains and push themselves out of their comfort zones. I am also starting to coach women’s camps in Jackson Hole and had my first annual women’s camp in Chamonix, France last year 2015!
Photo Credit: Fred Marmsater
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