U.S. Ski Team veteran Julia Ford has been named the new director of alpine skiing at Cardigan Mountain School in Cannaan, N.H. With Ford’s appointment, the junior boarding school for boys in grades 6-9 looks to transform its longstanding ski program into one that can compete with the best in the nation, including its close neighbor, the prestigious Burke Mountain Academy.
“Cardigan has had a successful ski program for a long time,” said Cardigan Director of Athletics, Ryan Frost, in a press release. “But we’ve always understood we had the tools to build it into something special. It’s exciting to realize that time is here.”
Ford hails from Holderness, New Hampshire, and attended the winter-term Okemo Mountain School during her middle school years. She later went onto Holderness School in Plymouth, N.H., and Westminster College in Utah while skiing on the U.S. Development Team. She made her debut on the FIS World Cup circuit in 2012. Over the span of her professional ski racing career, Ford started in 40 FIS World Cup ski races, competed at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, and collected two U.S. National Downhill Champion titles.
For many years, racing was at the forefront of Ford’s career, but it wasn't her only priority. While still competing on the race circuit, Ford completed GroundSwell Institute’s business building program, a program founded by fellow ski racer Cody Marshall along with his employer Bob Bennett to give athletes the opportunity to continue to develop intellectually and professionally.
Understanding the important balance of athletics and academics, Ford is the perfect pick to develop and elevate Cardigan’s skiing program. “We can provide student-athletes a balance that promotes skill development in skiing but doesn’t compromise academic development or opportunities to participate in other activities,” said Cardigan’s Head of School Christopher Day in a press statement.
“Cardigan’s perfect location, excellent facilities, and supportive community offer an amazing opportunity for junior skiers,” Ford said in a press statement. “They’ll train full-time during the winter and play other sports in fall and spring. I can’t wait to get started.”
As the school’s director of alpine skiing, Ford will work with Head Coach Travis Nevins to recruit committed alpine competitors and elevate training strategies to establish Cardigan Alpine skiing as a force to be reckoned with at U.S. Ski & Snowboarding races.