The slalom specialist will follow in her dad’s ‘retired’ footsteps with baby in tow.
Resi Stiegler recently found photos of her father, triple Olympic medalist Pepi Stiegler, holding her as a small child in the finish area of what looks to be a World Pro Ski Tour race in the 1980s. This week, Resi and her husband will find themselves in a similar situation.
Last year, Resi Stiegler retired from a 20-year racing career that included three Olympic appearances and four U.S. Championship titles.
On Feb. 6, she was ski touring near her home in Jackson, WY. The next morning, she gave birth to her daughter, Rosi.
Stiegler, along with her husband, David Ketterer – a World Cup racer for Germany – and baby Rosi are heading for the final stop of the World Pro Ski Tour, the 2022 World Pro Championships at Taos Ski Valley, NM, April 8-10.
“We thought it would be a fun family trip,” Stiegler, 36, says. “I’m not as competitive as in the past. I’m pretty excited, though. It’s fun and friendly. It’s the right environment for something I want to do right now.”
A slalom specialist, Stiegler wrapped up her World Cup racing career with her fourth national championship slalom title last spring.
“I never wanted to stop racing,” Stiegler says. “I could have raced for 10 more years for the love of it. At a certain point, you have to choose. I’m happy about that. It’s funny how you’re still like, wait. I love racing. I love getting in the gate and getting nervous.”
The Taos WPST will not mark Stiegler’s first time back in the gates since retiring. She and Ketterer competed in Jackson Hole’s local Directors’ Cup fundraising event last month.
“I did it off the couch and felt phenomenal,” Stiegler said. “I was like, oh, my God, bring me back. I’m ready to race.”
The WPST has been on Stiegler and Ketterer’s radar for a couple of years.
“He just kept talking about it,” Stiegler says of her husband. “This year there was more talk of women doing it. He said, ‘Do you want to sign up and do it?’ I was like, ‘Well, yeah. That sounds cool.’”
Stiegler has been sifting through memorabilia at her family’s house in Jackson and unearthed the photos of her father in race bibs holding her when she was a baby.
“My dad doesn’t remember it, but there’s a picture of me and my dad at the Pro Tour event. I think it was the Pro Tour. It was identical. It’d be like identical to what we’re doing with Rosi,” Resi says.
Resi’s mom, Carrie Stiegler, wrote books on parenting and included tips on teaching toddlers how to ski, teaching her own, of course.
“I walked really early. I was on Nordic skis at like one and a half,” Resi says. “My mom says that’s the better way to do it. She says if you just put them on [alpine] skis and put them on the hill, they’re not really learning. She wrote this whole thing about Nordic skiing. There’s all these photos with baby Nordic skis. They look Barbie ski sets.”
At about six weeks old, Rosi received her first set of skis, which are indeed tiny. There’s no telling how soon she’ll get to try them out, but her mother is certainly prepared to add a second wave to her own ski career in the form of the World Pro Ski Tour.
“It’s the perfect thing for retirees,” Stiegler says. “I’d even say it’s for people who love to race. These people are so competitive and into it. For me, it’s so obvious. It’s not like this second-tiered thing. It’s what keeps ski racing alive.”
A stacked field descends upon Taos for the final stop of this season’s World Pro Ski Tour. In addition to Stiegler and Ketterer, U.S. Olympians Paula Moltzan and River Radamus will be competing, as well as Canadians Erik Read and Trevor Philp, Germany Olympic medalist Linus Strasser, U.S. National Slalom Champion Jett Seymour and the usual field of parallel slalom slashers, including two-time WPST tour champion Rob Cone, Michael Ankeny, Nolan Kasper, Tuva Norbye and Galena Wardle.
Spectators include Stiegler’s former teammates Julia Mancuso, Bode Miller, as well as ski racing icons Franz Klammer, Billy Kidd and Deb Armstrong.
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