walking across a slack line that they had set up in the back yard. “They were all trying to one-up each other,” said Kathleen with a laugh. Anna is also competitive, but in a low-key way. She is more interested in the social aspects of sports than cut-throat competition. As an example, Anna joined the cross-country running team at Sparta High School her sophomore year. Her mom asked her how she liked it, and Anna responded, “I like it a lot, except for the running.” “She liked the girls on the team,” explained Kathleen. “While they were all trying to run fast, they were supportive of each other, which is what she finds in snowboarding as well.” Mostly, Anna is a perfectionist. “She is always pushing herself whether at school or on the hill,” said Kathleen. “She puts pressure on herself to do well.” Off the hill, Anna is interested in pursuing engineering. She excels in school, getting A’s and taking difficult classes (honors level, advanced placement, and two foreign languages). Every winter since eighth grade, she has successfully transitioned from Sparta High School to OMS, then back to Sparta in the spring (and Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester, Vermont, this coming year). For her junior year, she received OMS’s Excellence in Science Award as well as the High School Head of School Award. Just as important, OMS has allowed her to travel across North America and Europe to train and compete with the world’s best while pursuing high-level classes. “It’s definitely been tricky balancing snowboarding with academics,” Anna admitted. “But OMS does a really good job helping you balance that schedule as well as supporting you through whatever rigorous course schedule you choose.” Anna does not bend under the pressure either. At OMS, she is known as “a collected and confident young woman with poise,” said OMS’s dean of academics, Leslie Cassano. “Anna is a role model amongst her peers,” added Cassano. “She is a leader, unassuming, approachable, and kind.” This year, Anna is balancing college visits with classes, training, and even higher level events. She plans to enter the U.S. Grand Prix competitions, which serve as 2018 Olympic qualifiers. But the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games are not on her radar. “I just want to progress in those Grands Prix and see some performances that I can be proud of and just make my way up the list,” she said. “I’m not really shooting for the Olympics this coming year, but hopefully in the future.” The future may be closer than she thinks. Peggy Shinn is a freelance writer covering Olympic sports and athletes, primarily for TeamUSA.org. She lives in Rutland, Vt., with her husband and daughter. Anna Valentine O M S A T H L E T E P R O F I L E - continued from page 45 - CLEARLAKE FURNITURE Custom Furniture · Kitchen Cabinets · Upholstery · Live Edge Slabs Ludlow Gallery &Workshop, 322 Route 100 North, Ludlow,VT 05149 802.228.8395 · clearlakefurniture.com Handcrafted in our Vermont barn, one piece at a time okemo.com > 802-228-1600 > page 47