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Steamboat Magazine

Meet the Stars of the Slopes: Olivia Giaccio

03/09/2022 01:02PM ● By Dan Greeson

Olivia Giaccio, 21 

Freestyle Moguls 

Trained with Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club 

What do you consider your proudest moment in your sport so far? 

Back in 2019, I became the first girl to do a cork 10 in competition. When I first started mogul skiing, I was the only girl in a group with my younger brother and all of his friends, so I just followed everything that they did. I quickly learned that I was capable of anything that the boys could do. I’ve used that same mentality throughout my career to push the women’s side of the sport, which has been a tough yet rewarding experience. I’m very proud to be at the forefront of the progression of mogul skiing and am looking forward to continuing to push the envelope! When I did compete the cork 10 in March of 2019, however, I didn’t land it. One of my goals for this upcoming year is to stomp that trick in competition! 

What would it mean to you to qualify and compete in the Olympics? 

I don’t think I’d be able to describe it, honestly. An Olympic Gold Medal has always been my main goal since I began mogul skiing at age 10. To represent the United States and everywhere I consider to be a vital part of my journey (my hometown: Redding, CT; my home ski resort: Steamboat; and where I live today: Park City, UT), in addition to my family and friends, would be a literal dream come true. I’d be incredibly honored, to say the least!! 

Being from the East Coast how did you select the SSWSC? 

I was attracted to the SSWSC because of the incredible community attached to it. At the time, the High Performance Mogul Team at the SSWSC was comprised of 5 girls and a female coach (both are incredibly uncommon in mogul skiing). All of us supported one another no matter what: I truly learned how to both be a good teammate and prioritize myself as an athlete first. My coach at the time also delved into my improvement in such an individualized way that I’d never experienced before. I’d definitely say it was an integral part of my development as a skier and a person. 

How many years/seasons did you train with the SSWSC?  

I trained with the SSWSC for two years — one prior to making the US Ski Team, and one after I made the US Ski Team. SSWSC has provided me with mentors who still play a valuable role in my career today! I’m endlessly thankful for the community as a whole and the support that they’ve given me over the years, even though I didn’t originally begin my career in Steamboat. I’ve always felt welcomed — and at home — in the Boat! 

How old were you when you decided to dedicate yourself to become an elite level athlete? 

I was 10 years old. I still have the little blue book that I first wrote down my Olympic dreams in. 

Who are your biggest role models and why?  

My biggest role models would have to be my parents. The biggest lesson they’ve taught me over the years is that if I want something, I have to go out and get it for myself. No one else can do it for me, and if I need help, then I’m responsible for finding the vital resources and people to help me out. They’re definitely the root of my work ethic that’s a key part of what makes me who I am. 

How did you keep your focus coming back from your ACL injury? 

I took my ACL recovery day by day, which enabled me to celebrate the little successes while staying focused on the end goal. That sort of approach has helped me tremendously in other areas of my life, too, in addition to skiing even after my ACL recovery.  

What is your favorite resort of the 68 (and counting) you have skied? 

To this day, one of my favorite powder days I’ve ever skied was in Tignes/Val d’Isere, France. That day, though several years ago now, was absolutely unforgettable! In terms of terrain, I’m obviously in love with Whiteout, Steamboat’s classic mogul run, and the whole Sundown area — those are my favorite spots to go on a pow day. 

What’s your favorite part about mogul skiing? 

My favorite part about my sport is also what I find the toughest: balancing the three aspects of technical skiing, fast turns and cleanly executed airs. 

How do you find a balance between training and studies?  

Studying keeps my mind busy, especially during competition season. When I get a bit nervous about an event or my process, I use school as a productive distraction.  

Favorite family pet? 

Paw! She’s my family’s 14-year-old miniature cat. She’s pretty sassy and doesn’t really like me all that much, but I love her to death.