Skip to main content

Skiing at Northwood School (Video)

In this video, we introduce Tommy Biesemeyer, the new Alpine Director at Northwood School and we hear from staff and students about the alpine skiing program at Northwood.



Thomas Biesemeyer: I'm Thomas Biesemeyer. I'm the new Alpine Director here at Northwood School. I'm from Keene, New York, where I grew up going to school at the Keene Central School and I found a passion for ski racing at a young age. I want to see Northwood Ski Team be a pipeline for athletes to be set up to be successful, with the infrastructure in place, but also really teach them about work ethic and grinding and overcoming the fear of failure and really making themselves very vulnerable in the sport, which I think is great.

Kevin Drury: As everyone has probably heard, Tommy Biesemeyer has been hired as the Alpine Director of Northwood, which I think is hugely valuable to the program. Not only for Northwood, but for NYSEF, for the community. You know, he brings with him such invaluable experience to a program that has been so successful in the past and I think he'll be a huge asset.

Thomas Biesemeyer: One of the beautiful things that we have here in town is the Olympic spirit, the same Olympic spirit that fueled my Olympic dream. At a young age, you have a real competitive advantage as a kid because you sense this spirit, this culture that is focused around the Olympics.

Here at Northwood, we have the ability to utilize the Whiteface Mountain, which is 10 minutes away from campus. We train on the exact Olympic venue that was held in 1980, the same venue that cultivated Andrew Weibrecht to Thomas Vonn and myself to all become Olympians, so it's proven. We have ski building that comes with storage, benches, and that's where my office is and it's ski focused and it's our own space.

Our partnership with NYSEF is a critical piece to the formula. One of the unique things that we have going for us in NYSEF is that we have a wealth of experience in various leadership roles. We have Pat Purcell, who's been in the game for 40 years. We have Jeremy Transue who was a member of the US Ski Team, racing World Cup down on super-G for seven years. Then we have Thomas Vonn, former Olympian, World Cup super-G giant slalom racer, and coach of Lindsey Vonn for eight years.

When we commit to something, we're going to do it right. A lot of the teachers here at Northward are skiers and they love skiing.

Sarah Bennett: So I decided to come here because it gave me opportunities that I didn't have back home, like going to school and skiing it at the same time and just pursuing my education while being able to train every day and have the same amount of time on snow than everyone else, but also not missing a lot of school.

Rowen Norfolk: Winter schedule is the same as the spring and fall, in the sense that you have all five classes, so you're still going to have a full day of school but you won't have the extra periods in the extra time off. You'll just still get the same amount of work but you'll be able to ski for, what, four hours a day.

Benedetta Coloro: I think not being able to come to campus made coming here even more exciting and even though I was a little nervous, not knowing anyone and never seeing the school, the Northwood community though, is extremely welcoming and makes you feel at home right from the start.

Thomas Biesemeyer: The town of Lake Placid, this historical town Olympic village, is still illustrated and embodied today. We feel there's restaurants. We have a downtown. We have shops. So kids... And this is all walking distance. And so kids will be able to leave campus, walk to town and get that breath of fresh air away from this intense environment, that's going to be set in place in Northwood, which I think is a great, great opportunity for them to decompress and utilize and remind themselves of where they are.

Skiing is a great opportunity to get into school. I don't think anyone denies that. I know all the coaches at all the schools. So if someone is deserving of a spot, I will fight to the end of the day for them and I can make that phone call. I think that that's a huge advantage for our students here at Northwood.

I know personally getting put into an environment where people are successful, it only makes you better and I think that that's a huge opportunity for an incoming student to have that sort of eye-opening experience saying, "Whoa, holy cow. I need to step up my game." And learning from others and highlighting blind spots that you may have as an athlete or a student from your peers is an opportunity that's very unique and it's found here at Northwood School.