Introducing SYNC's newest athlete partnership with Jimmy Krupka. Dive into Jimmy’s ski racing journey, starting from his early days at GMVS, through his tenure with the U.S. Ski Team, his time at Dartmouth College and now his latest endeavor with World Racing Academy and much more.
How it all started
As a young kid from Massachusetts, Jimmy was inspired to pursue ski racing after seeing a poster of Bode Miller.
(Photo of Jimmy racing at Bode Fest in 2005)
Jimmy’s skiing journey began at the age of two, when he first strapped on skis at Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire. His passion for ski racing was ignited by a poster of skiing legend Bode Miller, prompting him to declare, "I want to do whatever that is." Determined to chase this dream, he convinced his parents to enroll him in a racing program.
While his parents were avid skiers, neither of them had pursued racing as a career. "My mom raced some in high school, and my dad didn't race; they were both just recreational skiers," Jimmy shared. Despite the lack of a competitive racing background in his family, which is not common amongst racers, he was determined to make it big in racing.
As he got older his family began making the journey from Massachusetts to Vermont, where Jimmy joined the Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS) Ski Club when he was eight years old. After a few years of racing for the GMVS Club team he made the decision to fully commit to his skiing ambitions. "I asked myself, do I stay in Massachusetts and have a slightly more boring life or do I move to Vermont and pursue this," Jimmy reminisced. With his decision to fully pursue ski racing, Jimmy enrolled as a boarding student at GMVS.
Life Lessons and Sacrifices
Jimmy made his commitment to pursue ski racing but it also came with tough decisions and life lessons.
(Photo of Jimmy playing Lacrosse for GMVS in 2015)
In the seventh grade Jimmy made the decision to leave his family behind in Massachusetts and do a year of boarding school at GMVS which provided crucial life lessons. It was a time when he experienced the challenges of self-sufficiency and nutrition. Living off microwave popcorn and Twizzlers certainly wasn't the healthiest choice and, as he humorously admitted, it led to energy crashes on race days. But it was in this year of independence that he learned the importance of proper nutrition and its direct impact on performance.
The path to reaching the top step of the podium often requires difficult choices, and Jimmy faced such decisions head-on. He acknowledged that every sport he engaged in had its significance, except for soccer, which didn't resonate with him. However, for the sake of pursuing his skiing dream, he made the challenging choice to part ways with lacrosse. It wasn't an easy decision, “but at the end of the day, there was never a question in my mind that skiing took the top priority.” Jimmy recalled.
While Jimmy made the choice to stop playing lacrosse, he learned the invaluable lesson of teamwork from it, something that most ski racers need to experience. Considering skiing is fundamentally an individual sport, the skills he acquired from his experiences in team sports has helped him be a good teammate and contribute positively to a team environment. This has not only made the sport more enjoyable but also enhanced his effectiveness on the slopes. These early lessons in teamwork would later prove to be a crucial part of his skiing journey when he enrolled at Dartmouth College.
Into the Big League
After graduating from GMVS Jimmy has spent the last seven years on various teams, learning and growing along the way.
(Photo of Jimmy at the 2019 World Junior Skiing Championships in Val di Fassa, Italy)
After graduating from the Green Mountain Valley School in 2016, Jimmy spent the next two years with the U.S. Development Team and National Training Group. Over these two years he grew a strong bond with all of the boys on the team and had the opportunity to compete for the U.S. at his first Junior World Ski Championship in Davos, Switzerland.
However, in 2018, he decided to hit the books and began skiing for Dartmouth College. This is where his past experiences of teamwork came into play. "My year at Dartmouth was some of the most fun I've ever had ski racing. Being part of a team where it actually matters how every single person does brought back those teamwork skills I learned while playing lacrosse."
During his time at Dartmouth Jimmy went to his second and final Junior World Ski Championships in 2019 at Val di Fassa, Italy where he placed 6th in the slalom event. Proceeding his year at Dartmouth, Jimmy was back with his crew on the U.S. Ski Team. Unfortunately, in early 2021, Jimmy broke his tibia-fibula (tib-fib) but was back ripping 8 months later.
In the last three years Jimmy has still made time to attend classes at Dartmouth every spring where he says he's "moving at a glacial pace" to earn his degree. After the 2022/2023 season, Jimmy was cut from the U.S. Ski Team and has since joined a new squad. Throughout it all, Jimmy has had two constants in his life, his passion for podcasting and video edits.
At a young age Jimmy began making video edits for his Instagram page and in recent years has produced a popular ski racing podcast called Arc City.
(Arc City Logo courtesy of arccity.org)
Jimmy remembers when his passion for making video edits took form in the eighth grade. It was at this time that social media was becoming a thing and iMovie videos were all the rage. Jimmy would make what he deemed "horrible" videos but as the years progressed so have his skills and now you can find all his well crafted video edits on his Instagram @jimmy_who_. For Jimmy video edits "truly brings me so much joy and the best part about it is that I feel like I'm bringing some small slice of that to other people too."
Another passion of Jimmy's is podcasting. Back before he created his own podcast he reached out to Ski Racing Media to do a segment on their podcast at the time. When they lost their podcast host, Jimmy offered to take over with "zero podcasts experience, I was in charge of writing and even making the social media clips" for the podcast. After around 18 episodes, Jimmy decided to start his own podcast and named it Arc City.
Starting his own podcast has showed him the hard work it takes to make a podcast and also made him look at things differently because of the people he has had the chance to interview, some notable names being, Mikaela Shiffrin, River Radamus, and Alice Robinson. "It's gotten me more involved with the broader ski racing community and it reminds me that it's a great community." Now coming full circle, Arc City is presented by Ski Racing Media this season.
Going into this upcoming season, Jimmy has joined World Racing Academy (WRA) where he has already proven his speed.
(Jimmy on the top step of the podium at the ANC Cup. Photo Credit Neil Kerr)
Going into the 2023/2024 season Jimmy made the decision to join World Racing Academy (WRA) and kicked off the race season down in New Zealand this past summer.
His goal for races in New Zealand was to score a 15 and he did just that. In his first slalom race of the year, Jimmy placed first scoring a 15 flat, his lowest score to date. While Jimmy, acknowledges this score had impacted his confidence he also said "I have a lot of confidence in my skiing regardless of my results."
While Jimmy is excited to work with this new team, the transition hasn't been the easiest in some ways. "The U.S. Ski Team boys are my squad, they have been my original boys for the past seven years, so I miss them." One thing this new team offers though, is an underdog aspect making it feel as though Jimmy is a part of something big by being on WRA.
Looking ahead, Jimmy's goals for the season are to first and foremost have fun. Considering the emotional and physical strain this sports puts on the athletes, you cannot lose sight in the joy it can bring. Jimmy's biggest goal for the season is to ski World Cup. As Jimmy said it best, "I want to be on the big stage and I want to put down big runs on the big stage."
Working with Jimmy is a dream, we can't wait to see all that he accomplishes!