Andover Nordic Skiing Co-Captain Amelia Vinton ’23 began skiing while visiting family and has progressed from downhill skiing to competitive Nordic while at Andover. She credits her interest in endurance sports as part of what led her to try skiing and continue as a leader on the team.
What keeps Vinton coming back to Nordic is its sense of community. Vinton feels that Nordic brings all kinds of people together, creating a fun and enjoyable atmosphere.
Vinton said, “I think there’s something really special about the team being all-gender, and something about Nordic draws really nice and just goofy people. Ever since freshman year, there’s always been an amazing sense of community and playfulness on the team that is just unmatched by any other sport that I’ve ever done… When I’m at a Nordic meet or at Nordic practice, I really do feel present. All of the school stress goes away, pretty much.”
As a leader, Vinton strives to foster what makes skiing enjoyable for her among teammates as well. Vinton promotes a sense of community by getting to know everyone on the team and strives to make the sport fun for others.
“My emphasis is really on creating a welcoming environment and trying to bring people together…At the end of the day, for me, what matters most is that I’m doing something I love with really fun people and just getting outside,” Vinton said.
According to Tori Darling ’22 and Head Coach Keith Robinson ’96, Vinton’s leadership has not gone unnoticed among teammates and coaches, who praise her easy-going and open character.
“Amelia is super sweet; she will chat with you for hours. On the bus, she loves to talk about Nordic, not Nordic, she’s super encouraging. She’ll always check in with you, about how your race went. She wants to be your friend, she wants to help you with your stress from homework, she wants to know what’s going on in your life besides the sport, which is really nice,” said Darling.
Coach Robinson added, “[Vinton is] just so level headed, and imperturbable, and just eminently coachable. She’s able to do like [a] 10 minute workout with no stress and not complain, and just always happy dealing with whatever when we’re outside.”
Vinton feels that the team has had an accomplished season so far and is proud of the team’s achievements and continual improvement.
“It’s been really fantastic to see peoples’ growth, and I just love seeing people improve every week and really surprise themselves. I think a lot of people coming into the season had never skied before, or had hardly skied at all. To see them performing the way they are and surprising themselves and doing really well has been really awesome,” said Vinton.