Ashley Yenick ’14, Copy Editor
Hailing from Andover, 20-year-old Annalisa Drew is an Olympian on Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. This is Drew’s Olympic debut, as she will be competing in the Women’s Freeski Halfpipe event. Merrimack Alum, Nick Drew discussed his sister’s success as a Freeskier. He revealed that Annalisa had gotten involved with skiing since she was younger, but it wasn’t until high school when she started to get involved with Freestyle Skiing: “She was persuaded by our cousins, the Finn family to get involved with freestyle, and so she joined the Loon Mountain Freestyle Team. From there on out she fell in love with the lifestyle and has been doing it ever since.”
According to Drew’s Blog, The Ski Adventures of Annalisa Drew, Freestyle Skiing wasn’t Drew’s first Olympic dream. In fact, her dream was to be a figure skater. From her toddler years to a sophomore in high school, Drew’s passion was figure skating. In middle school, Drew would skate about three to four hours a day, and the jumping and spinning aspect of figure skating began to be her favorite part of skating. Even though Drew almost completed into a professional stature, she believed that figure skating didn’t fit her personality and Free Skiing was a better sport that fit her style and personality (Drew’s Blog).
After her freshman year of high school, Annalisa decided she wanted to pursue skiing on a deeper level. She and her parents decided that she’d benefit from the New Hampton School, a boarding school in New Hampshire that enabled Drew to ski every day after school through the Waterville Valley Program. Drew’s senior year proved to be her greatest year yet. She won the Nor-AM and received her first invite to a world cup that took place in La Plange, France, where she received her first Dew tour invite the next season where she placed 4th (Drew’s Blog).
After her commitment to move out west, Drew moved to Vail, Colorado to train with her coach Elana Chase. Since moving to Colorado, Drew has competed in Freeski Halfpipe events at the US Grand Prix, Dew Tour, and the X Games. Right now, Drew is ranked 8th in the world for Halfpipe Skiing (Drew’s Blog). Not only is she ranked 8th in the world, her brother Nick tells us from his interview that she’s the first woman ever to include a 1260 trick in a competition!
For seven years so far, Drew has had amazing achievements, and now she can add being an Olympian to the list! Nick said the whole family will be in attendance to watch his sister compete: “…my family which includes me, my younger brother, youngest sister, mom, dad, and two grandparents are traveling out Monday afternoon to watch her compete. It’s the first time her event has ever been in the Olympics” (Nick Drew Interview). Annalisa competed on Thursday, February 20th, for the first time ever in the Women’s Freestyle Ski Halfpipe event. Good Luck to Annalisa and Team USA!
You can check out Annalisa Drew’s personal blog here: http://annadrewski.wordpress.com/