Skier with Ironwood ties qualifies for Olympics
SOCHI, Russia — Resi Stiegler gets a second chance at an Olympic medal after qualifying to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Stiegler is the daughter of Ironwood native Carrie (Domin) Stiegler, of Presque Isle, Wis., and Olympic medalist Pepi Stiegler, an Austrian alpine ski racer who won medals in slalom events in the 1960 and 1964 Winter Olympics. Resi is the granddaughter of Norma and the late Ed Domin, of Ironwood.
She qualified for the 2006 Olympics in Turnin, Italy, and placed 12th in the slalom and 11th in the combined event.
Resi's mother said her daughter is in a "great state of mind" heading into the Olympics.
"Resi has had 11 major surgeries in her career, and that is not to be discounted," Carrie said. "But right now, she is super fit, really healthy and in a great state of mind. It couldn't be better."
Some of Resi's career highlights include a silver medal in the slalom at the U.S. Championships in 2013 and a silver in the slalom at the World Cup in Ofterschwang, Germany, in 2012.
In 2006, Carrie and her son, Seppi, also a member of the U.S. men's ski team, traveled to Italy to watch Resi compete. This time, however, she will be watching from closer to home.
Over the past couple of months, global attention has been on the amount of security needed for the Olympics under Russian President Vladimir Putin's watchful eyes.
Some athletes are being warned not to wear their country's colors outside the Olympic compound for safety measures.
For Carrie, it's in the back of her mind.
"I am not traveling because it's not affordable for parents," she said. "But it's hard not to think about because it is in the news so much, with so much being said about it. They are definitely bumping up security, and the U.S. Olympic Committee knows about the dangers. But as a parent, I'm not 100 percent comfortable with it. I don't know who could be."
While in Russia, Resi will compete in the slalom. The schedule of when she will race has not yet been released.
"I haven't thought about where I'll be watching, yet. We have a group of ski friends who are lifelong friends, so I'll probably watch with them," Carrie said.
Resi's home is Jackson Hole, Wyo., but she trains mostly at the U.S. Ski Training Headquarters in Austria, her "home away from home," according to her mother.
At the Olympics, Resi's teammates include 2006 and 2010 Olympian Stacey Cook, of Mammoth Calif .; Julia Ford, of Plymouth, N.H .; 2002, 2006 and 2010 Olympian Julia Mancuso, of Squaw Valley, Calif .; 2010 Olympian Megan McJames, of Park City, Utah; Laurenne Ross, of Bend, Ore .; Mikaela Shiffrin, of Eagle-Vail, Colo .; 2010 Olympian Leanne Smith, of North Conway, N.H .; and Jacqueline Wiles, of Aurora, Ore.
Most of the skiers were in Turnin with Resi, and don't really compete against each other.
"Most of them are competing against themselves," Carrie said. "They are trying to have a better race, better day, best race, best day. I have never known Resi to be focused on other athletes. Commentators like to create that image of rivalries, but they are so focused on themselves."
Men traveling to Russia include David Chodounsky, of Crested Butte, Colo .; 2010 Olympian Erik Fisher, of Middleton, Idaho; Travis Ganong, of Squaw Valley, Calif .; Jared Goldberg, of Holladay, Utah; Tim Jitloff, of Reno, Nev .; 2010 Olympian Nolan Kasper, of Warren, Vt .; 2006 and 2010 Olympian Ted Ligety, of Park City, Utah; 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010 Olympian Bode Miller, of Franconia, N.H .; 2010 Olympian Steven Nyman, of Sundance, Utah; 2002 and 2010 Olympian Marco Sullivan, of Squaw Valley, Calif .; and 2010 Olympian Andrew Weibrecht, of Lake Placid, N.Y.
The women's team has a strong bond, according to Carrie, as many of them have known each other for years.
"They are all very supportive of each other and just a great group of girls," Carrie said. "They all know each other and raced against each other since they were 12 years old. They are a really strong group. With other teams, it's more cutthroat, but not these girls. They are a team."