Alpine Athletes  »  Katharine Irwin

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Ski and Snowboard Club Vail athlete Katharine Irwin has only been running FIS events since 2010, but in 2011 she won J2 nationals for both giant slalom and super G. The U.S. Development Team was the obvious next step, one that she graduated from after 2014.

“Big Kat” made big strides in 2014 by jumping from 23rd to third in the NorAm Cup downhill rankings, but what truly gave her a boost was a stunning eighth in super G at the Junior World Championships. She then carried decent speed through the back half of the season until she went through ankle and hip surgery.

Already through surgery in the early spring, Irwin is on the mend with an eagle eye focus on crushing 2015.

I think I did leave some speed on the hill in Jasna. I had a few little mistakes that I was hoping to clean up for the downhill, but overall it was a pretty good day.

The season in general was good, but injury recovery is never fun. At least I know I have the speed to take my skiing to the next level. Now I just have to put all my energy into recovery and make smart decisions about returning to training.

“I started to ski when I was about 1.5-2 years old. I started to race when I was about six.  Apparently wearing spandex in freezing weather appealed to me when I was younger.

I attended Vail Mountain School from Kindergarten-ninth grade, when I was finally allowed to transfer to Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy. I did not attend many days of school with my race schedule, but somehow managed to graduate with acceptable grades. 

I won the J2 National super G and GS in 2011, and from that result and my FIS points, I was named to the 2011-2012 U.S. Ski Team.”

When not skiing, she’s chasing around big sis (and bike racer) Jocelyn while listening to country music. Soccer, mountain biking, playing dress up (even the occasional mustache – for formal events of course) are all in the cards for the one and only Big Kat.




8th, SG, Junior World Championships, Jasna, SVK, 2014
1st, SG, Panorama, CAN, NorAm, 2013
7th, SG, NorAm overall standings, 2013 

3rd overall NorAm Downhill 2014


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