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Sugarloaf and CVA: Building Champions

Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Seth Wescott and Two-Time World Cup Champion Bode Miller both honed their skills at Sugarloaf’s famed ski academy


CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine – In 1982, with a handful of students in the basement of the Sugarloaf Chapel, Carrabassett Valley Academy (CVA) was born. Like Sugarloaf itself, its origins were humble, but its ambitions and its potential were grand. Over the next 28 years CVA steadily grew into the country’s preeminent ski and snowboard academy, and created some of the greatest winter athletes on the planet.


At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, CVA saw its full potential realized on winter’s greatest stage. Over the course of two weeks, the world watched as CVA alumni Seth Wescott and Bode Miller took home a total of four medals, two of them gold. Between the two, CVA alumni out-medaled the legendary Austrian alpine ski team in the 2010 Olympics.


CVA grad Emily Cook also competed for the US Freestyle Team in women’s aerials, finishing out of the medals.


The Olympic triumphs were just the latest and most prominent in a remarkable story of success for the tiny academy. With a dedication to both academic and athletic excellence, top notch training facilities, devoted coaches, and a rigorous scheduled on and off the hill, CVA has become one of the most prolific training academies in the world.


Bode Miller’s medals were merely the latest in a long line of superlatives, which, when combined, make him the most decorated skier in the country’s history. He has medaled in two Olympic games, and has twice won the men’s overall World Cup title. And while Miller may be the most decorated CVA athlete of all time, he has lots of company.


Wescott’s gold in Vancouver was his second in as many Olympics, and he is the only athlete ever to win gold in men’s snowboardcross. He was the world snowboardcross champion in 2005, and with 9 X-Games medals he is the most decorated snowboarder is X-Games history.


And Wescott is far from alone at the X-Games. Four other CVA alumni joined him in 2010, including Dan Marion, Matt Duhamel, and Banks Gilberti in skier halfpipe, and Alex Tuttle in snowboardcross. Marion is a five-time X-Games athlete and a consistent top-ten finisher in the annual Winter Dew Tour.


Tuttle, a 20-year newcomer to the world snowboardcross stage, recently finished 3rd at the Junior World Snowboardcross championships in New Zealand, and trains regularly with Wescott.


Just as Wescott is not alone in his X-Games pursuits, nor is Miller alone on the US Ski Team. This year’s US Freestyle Team includes two CVA alumni, Jeremy Cota and Dave DiGravio. Cota was only one spot away from joining his fellow CVA alumni in the Vancouver Olympics.