Olympic athlete and SNC Tahoe student Maddie Bowman celebrates victory at Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.
Maddie Bowman, USASA champion and Olympic freeski gold medalist, on why she chose SNC Tahoe for her bachelor's degree in biology.

Maddie Bowman Goes for Gold at SNC Tahoe

At SNC Tahoe, our students come first. That makes Sierra Nevada College a top choice for pro skiers. It’s not just that we are so close to over a dozen ski resorts. Sierra-at-Tahoe, home mountain for Maddie Bowman, is just a quick drive south from SNC Tahoe. We understand what it takes for elite athletes to take the mountain. Here, they can prepare for a future beyond competition without undermining their success on the slopes.

Maddie Bowman, USASA Nationals champion and 2014 Olympic freeski halfpipe gold medalist, is changing things up in 2019. This homegrown South Tahoe Series alum, who moved to Utah in 2015 to be closer to US Ski & Snowboard training center, has moved back to her beloved Tahoe and is settling into college life at Sierra Nevada College as a junior. In between juggling twelve college credits and preparing for another season dominating the professional freeskiing circuit, Maddie took a few moments of her time to talk to us about college life and her favorite things about being back in Tahoe.

You’re still an X Games and Olympic medal contender, why was it important for you to go to college while still competing?

I want to remind myself that skiing isn’t everything which is important to remember when injuries come along and it’s time to switch career paths.

How does competing AND going to school work?

The key to making it work is the professors. I have such a specific schedule where I have to travel to train and compete and the professors are willing to work with me so I can go to school and still travel.

Why did you chose Sierra Nevada College?

I chose SNC because I needed a school that would work with my schedule as a professional athlete and still allow me to finish my degree. I can play hard and work hard here. And the SNC community has been great! They have been so welcoming an the students are very active but open to new ideas and people.

Olympic athlete and SNC Tahoe student Maddie Bowman talks with young aspiring athletes at Copper Mountain.
Olympic athlete and SNC Tahoe student Maddie Bowman gets hands on during a science lab.
Olympic Athlete and SNC Tahoe student Maddie Bowman catches air in Pyeong Chang in 2018.

What the academic experience is like?

I am blown away by the academic experience at SNC. The professors are all about understanding concepts that you can apply instead of memorizing facts. We also are graded heavily on participation which takes the pressure off on tests. And being a science student I love the amount of labs we get to create ourselves.

How does it make you feel to be back in South Lake Tahoe – your home, opposed to being in Utah?

I love Tahoe. It was good to move away for a little while but my heart is here. I love that I can go get a bike ride or beach session in in-between classes and I am so close to such amazing skiing! Plus we have the best POW!

You’re planning on coming out to the 30th annual USASA National Championships this April, Do you remember your first USASA event or USASA nationals and what are some of your best USASA South Tahoe Series memories?

I loved competing in my south shore series! It was such a cool thing to do growing up and I made lifelong friends that way. It’s also really cool because it allowed me and my brother to ski together. Nationals were also such a big deal. I was so proud representing my home mountain Sierra at Tahoe

Maddie wraps up her finals and will head straight to Copper Mountain, CO for the US Grand Prix season opener and the Dew Tour. You’ll also be able to meet Maddie Bowman at Sierra Nevada College booth at this year’s 2019 USASA National Championships April 7-12th at Copper Mountain, CO.

Originally published by USASA.org

Your Future in Ski Business

Whether or not you’re an elite athlete, you can make a professional career on the slopes. In SNC Tahoe’s Ski Area Management bachelor’s degree program, you’ll learn all the ins and outs of the ski resort business from the pros. Intern at Lake Tahoe’s world-class resorts. Network with our alumni, the founders and managers of ski resorts and the publishers of ski magazines. Our guest speaker forum brings Presidents, CEOs, and CFOs in the winter resort industry into your classroom. Graduate with a college degree and a resume that will take you anywhere you want to go.

Your Time on the Mountain

Diamond Peak, the championship SNC Tahoe Ski and Snowboard Team’s home resort, is just 5 minutes from campus by free shuttle. There are over a dozen premier ski areas within easy driving distance. Those include Squaw Valley, Northstar, Heavenly Valley, and Kirkwood. Whatever your skill level and terrain preference, it’s not far from here