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Students sacrifice social life for intensive training

March 21, 2011

Writer Sarah Palermo wrote a great article about the Waterville Valley Academy for the Saturday edition of the Concord Monitor.

Wake up at 7 a.m. Go to a few hours of classes, take a break for lunch, then practice for a few hours. Then it’s homework, extra strength and conditioning training, dinner, some more homework, and bed to rest up for the same thing all over again.

Sounds like the typical day in the life of a college-level student-athlete. It’s also the typical day in the lives of 60 middle and high school students who spend up to five months every winter at Waterville Valley Academy.

The school has played a role in the success of Olympic gold medalist Hannah Kearney and professional snowboarders like Pat Moore.

Most of the students spend the other seven months each year as regular kids, but for the winter, they train to become the next top athletes in alpine racing, freestyle skiing and snowboarding.

They put aside student council, homecomings and all the trappings of a normal life.

“A lot of people, they don’t really get it,” said Annie D’Elia, a 16-year-old from Holderness who spends her days during the winter at the school but lives at home.

She attended only on weekends during her freshman year of high school, but last year and this, she commutes from home seven days a week.

“I improved so much from being here every day, it’s worth it,” she said.

“My friends thought I was crazy to be giving up my senior year,” said

Read the rest of Sarah’s story here.

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322, or

About Jan Stearns

I've been living in and loving New Hampshire's White Mountains for most of my life. I moved to Waterville Valley in 1981 and quickly realized why it was dubbed a Yankee Shangri-la. Once you’ve experienced Waterville Valley, you’ll want to call it yours. The great team of Realtors at Waterville Valley Realty can help you find a Waterville Valley home that fits your lifestyle and budget.

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