Adirondack Daily Enterprise
Aidan Ripp has reached a milestone for himself and for his school, Paul Smith’s College.
Ripp, a sophomore from Cloquet, Minnesota, will participate in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Nordic Combined in Lake Placid on Christmas Eve.
Ripp, a competitor in Nordic combined, qualified in Beijing, China at the Continental Cup event that took place on Dec. 4-5. The event served as the pre-Olympic test of the venue in Zhangjiakou’s Chongli district. The Winter Olympics begin in just eight weeks.
“This has been one of the most experiential trips in my career,” said Ripp, a 4.0 student in biology. “Despite the challenges of travel, I was able to rely on my training and skills learned at Paul Smith’s College to get me the results I needed.”
At the trials, Ripp hopes to gift himself and his school the greatest of presents, namely a nomination to Team USA. Should that come to fruition, he would be the college’s first Olympian.
“It is gratifying to see an athlete train for basically two years without competition and to get the chance and execute at their best potential,” Paul Smith’s College Nordic coach Matt Dougherty said in a statement. “It is so hard for an athlete to train and be competition-ready at any time waiting on the opportunity, but Aidan has been diligent and patient in his training and he deserves so much credit for this performance.”
Getting to this point, however, has not been easy for Ripp, who battled through the pandemic and limited ski jump training while the Lake Placid jumps were being updated and modernized.
Prior to Beijing, the 21-year-old was just outside the points for a chance to qualify for the Olympic Games. Now, however, he’s entered in the trials which are slated for Dec. 24 at the Olympic Sports Complex (cross country skiing) and Olympic Jumping Complex (ski jumping).