Your Montana Public Radio
Wed February 26, 2014
Whitefish's injured Olympian gets a warm welcome home
An injury may have kept 15-year-old Maggie Voisin from competing in Sochi, but it did nothing to damper the enthusiasm of her hometown crowd.
ople of all ages line the street in Whitefish as Maggie Voisin and her family cruised through town on the top of a fire truck.
Among the onlookers was 12-year-old Libby Goldhirsch.
“We wanted to see the parade for Maggie Voisin, she’s our friend for a while now, and we’re just about to go cross-country skiing, so it’s the perfect place for us to be right now,” 12-year-old Libby Goldhirsch was among the crowd gathered.
Whitefish is a busy place, but still a small community, and Goldhirsch as well as 12-year-olds Casey Schneider, Sam Menicke, and Bridger Gaertner have some of the same school teachers Voisin had, and have had the chance to see her ski when she was just starting to make a name for herself doing tricks at the Whitefish Mountain Resort.
“We’re really inspired by her. She’s pretty awesome with all the tricks like the 1080 cork, all that stuff, it’s pretty cool. And she’s from our hometown; we’ve never had anything like it before so, I think it’s pretty awesome,” Schneider said.
The 1994 Olympics saw Tommy Moe take home 2-gold medals. Moe learned on the slopes of Big Mountain in Whitefish at the now Whitefish Mountain Resort as well.
Days after 15-year-old Voisin was asked to join the U-S Olympic Freestyle Ski Team she took silver at the Winter X-Games. A trick that particularly made everyone stand up and take notice was when she pulled off a switch 1080. For those of us not in the know, this involves a big ski jump after which she spun three times in the air before landing.
Voisin was part of a team competing in the first-ever Olympic Slopestyle event.
“The energy was crazy; everyone was just so excited. Definitely some nerves, but I think the games are really fun, and it’s fun to see all these people just come together, kind of be one,” Voisin said.
During a practice run in Sochi Voisin broke a bone above her right ankle, and injury that requires 4 to 6 weeks of healing.
Before the parade in Whitefish she stands in the sun, supported by crutches, her nails painted blue with the stars and stripes, and a smile on her face.
The injury kept her out of competition, but not far from the action.
“Our event got done pretty early, so it was nice, everyone else got done, all my friends got done, and we were able to go down to the coast and watch hockey, and just, kind of experience everything; I got to watch bobsledding and luge, stuff that I never would usually watch, and it was just an incredible experience,” Voisin said.
Voisin said she’s out till spring or summer skiing.
At 15-she’s still in school. She says she’s part of Team Academy, an online school so she can get her work done around her training schedule. She said getting it all done; training, school work, travel, is all about time management, and it doesn’t fuss her much.
“I get to do what I love for, I guess for a living, so- it’s fun to do something that you really enjoy, and get to do it all the time,” Voisin said.
For the next winter Olympics Voisin will just have had her 19th birthday, but in the years between then and now, we’re likely to see her name a lot at the annual Dew Tour and the Winter X-Games.