The 2022 Winter Olympics will feature many big names, but perhaps none is more fitting than American skier Winter Vinecki.
The 22-year-old Michigan native is no stranger to the world stage.
Vinecki spent the majority of her childhood running in marathons across the world where she became a record long distance runner which raised over $ 500,000 for prostate cancer research and awareness.
Now Vinecki is set to reach new heights as she attempts gravity-defying tricks in her quest to reach an Olympic podium.
How did Winter Vinecki get her name?
Winter Vinecki seeks to become the first Olympian with the first name Winter to compete in the Olympics.
Her parents chose the name even before she was born. Winter’s mother Dawn wanted her child’s gender to be a surprise. Dawn and Winter’s father, Michael, therefore chose Winter for a girl and Yukon for a boy.
“There are many autumns, springs and summers for girl names. And I said, ‘What about winter? No one is calling her child Winter and she is due on December 18th, ”Dawn said on My new favorite NBC LX Olympian podcast.
When did Winter Vinecki first start skiing?
Vinecki’s interest in ski jump was first manifested when two-time Olympian Emily Cook invited her to a weeklong ski jump camp in Park City, Utah.
“I had no idea what aerial skiing was like before I started trying it out,” Vinecki said. NBC LX. “Emily Cook came up to me and she said, ‘You are small enough to be a ski racer. Why don’t you come and try my sport? ‘”
Vinecki fell in love with the sport so much that she quickly moved to Park City to train with Cook.
She was 12 and felt a bit like a fish out of water in spite of herself previous sporting achievements.
“I had barely done backflips on a trampoline or anything like that, so I had no acrobatic experience,” Vinecki said. “I knew how to ski, but I didn’t know how to freak. ”
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When did Winter Vinecki join Team USA?
Vinecki trained for the next three years and was named to the US ski and snowboard team in 2016.
She joined the same national development program as the gold medalists Shaun White, Lindsey Vonn and Ted Ligety had used it in their training en route to the Olympic podium.
Did Winter Vinecki compete in PyeongChang?
Vinecki had planned to qualify for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics, but suffered an injury in the summer of 2017.
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Did Winter Vinecki win a gold medal?
Despite missing the 2018 Winter Olympics, Vinecki remained determined to achieve her goals and achieved her first podium in a ski-jumping World Cup event on January 23, 2021.
Vinecki won a gold medal at the World Cup in Moscow and then a third place at the World Cup in Raubichi in Belarus a week later.
She also finished second at the Deer Valley World Cup in Utah.
What are Winter Vinecki’s goals in Beijing?
Vinecki’s dream of becoming an Olympian was more than herself.
After his father was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Vinecki started his own non-profit organization, Winter team, at age 9 to raise funds for prostate cancer research.
She teamed up with the Prostate Cancer Foundation and donated trophies she won by competing in marathons and triathlons to patients, raising over $ 100,000 in the first year alone.
Vinecki continues to honor her father, who passed away on March 12, 2009, at every event she attends.
“Her dream of making it to the Olympics and being on an Olympic podium is for her father and the men affected by prostate cancer and their families,” said Dawn Vinecki. “It’s never about her. It’s about saving lives and helping families.
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How much money did Winter Vinecki raise?
Vinecki raised $ 500,000 with Team Winter and hopes to make an impact on others when she competes for the United States in February.
“I always wanted to become an Olympian and compete for [Team] United States on the biggest stage in the world, ”Vinecki said.
“I didn’t know if it would be ski racing, triathlon, running, anything, but I knew I wanted to be out there and compete with all my heart, do my best in something , and be able to use my platform as an athlete to help others.
Inspiring others is something Vinecki has done her whole life, and she will be looking to reach her goal of reaching an Olympic podium in February 2022.
Want to listen to more NBC LX podcasts? Visit the My new favorite Olympian page to learn more about the top athletes as they prepare for the 2022 Winter Olympics.