Bet you didn’t know that SCPA has a World Cup telemark skier among our members! Tommy Gogolen took 6th place at the World Cup in Espot, Spain in 2016. He was a US Ski Team member for six seasons, 2012 through 2017, despite four ACL surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy. Tommy calls his 6th place World Cup finish, shown stating here, “the race of my life.”
Tommy grew up in the deep woods of northern New Jersey with bears as his neighbors (yes, that’s possible). He competed in alpine ski racing throughout the northeast and played golf, soccer and ski raced for Nyack College in New York. He moved to Breckenridge after graduation and first tried telemarking at age 26.
World Cup Telemark Racing includes classic, sprint and parallel sprint competitions. As Tommy told to the Summit Daily in 2016, “Telemark racing is a combination of how good you can ski the giant slalom, how good you can jump and how good you can skate. You have giant slalom gates and, every time you go around a gate, you have to be in a telemark lunge. Then there’s a jump about halfway through. In ski racing, getting air typically isn’t good, but here you’re jumping about 25 yards down the hill. You have to land that in the lunge at a high speed. It’s wild. … Once you get to the finish area, you reach this toilet bowl sort of thing — it’s called the wrap — and then you get spit out. Then it’s basically a sprint, maybe 75 yards, with some curves and twists and turns.”
These days Tommy is a full-tim real estate agent in Breck, raising a 5-year-old daughter with his wife Shawna and coaching and mentoring young people. He started playing pickleball with SCPA in July. About pickelball, Tommy says:
“I fell in love with it immediately! While I love the social aspect of PB, it also gets my competitive spirit going! At first, I was unaware of the depth the sport brings. After a few weeks, I was fascinated with all the different strategies to simply win a point. I was so welcomed by the Summit Pickleball community that taught me the in and outs of playing this incredible sport. Like, dinking — what is dinking?! Tell me more! It did not take long for me to be obsessed with the sport. It is a perfect combination of having a great time with new and old friends combined with a competitive atmosphere.”