The slalom specialist will follow in her father’s ‘retired’ footsteps with a baby in tow.
Resi Stiegler recently found photos of her father, triple Olympic medalist Pepi Stiegler, holding her as a child at the finish line of what appears to be a World Pro Ski Tour race in the 1980s. This week, Resi and her husband They will find themselves in a similar situation.
Last year, Resi Stiegler retired from a 20-year sports career that included three Olympic appearances and four US Championship titles.
On February 6, he was backcountry skiing near his home in Jackson, WY. The next morning, she gave birth to her daughter, Rosi.
Stiegler, along with her husband, David Ketterer, a World Cup racer for Germany, and baby Rosi head to the final stop of the World Pro Ski Tour, the 2022 World Pro Championships in Taos Ski Valley, NM, from 8 to April 10.
“We thought it would be a fun family trip,” says Stiegler, 36. “I am not as competitive as in the past. I’m pretty excited though. He is fun and friendly. It’s the right environment for something I want to do right now.”
Stiegler, a slalom specialist, concluded his World Cup career with his fourth national slalom championship title last spring.
“I never wanted to stop running,” says Stiegler. “I could have run for 10 more years for love. At a certain point, you have to choose. I’m happy about that. It’s funny how you keep on like, wait for him. I love careers. I love walking in the door and getting nervous.”
The Taos WPST will not mark the first time Stiegler has returned to the gates since retiring. She and Ketterer competed in the local Jackson Hole Directors Cup fundraiser last month.
“I did it from the couch and it felt amazing,” Stiegler said. “I thought, oh my God, bring me back. I’m ready to run.”
The WPST has been on Stiegler and Ketterer’s radar for a couple of years.
“He just kept talking about it,” Stiegler says of her husband. “This year there was more talk about women doing it. He said, ‘Do you want to sign up and do it?’ I was like, ‘Well yeah. That sounds great'”.
Stiegler has been going through memorabilia at her family’s home in Jackson and discovered photos of her father in bibs holding her when she was a baby.
“My dad doesn’t remember it, but there is a picture of me and my dad at the Pro Tour event. I think it was the Pro Tour. It was identical. It would be identical to what we are doing with Rosi,” says Resi.
Resi’s mother, Carrie Stiegler, wrote books on parenting and included advice on how to teach young children to ski, of course, by teaching her own.
“I walked very early. He was on Nordic skis for like a year and a half,” says Resi. “My mom says that’s the best way to do it. She says if you put them on [alpine] skis and put them on the hill, they are not really learning. She wrote all this about Nordic skiing. There are all these photos with baby Nordic skis. They look like Barbie ski outfits.
At around six weeks, Rosi received her first set of skis, which are really small. No word on how soon she’ll be able to try them out, but her mom is certainly poised to add a second wave to her own skiing career in the form of the World Pro Ski Tour.
“It’s the perfect thing for retirees,” Stiegler says. “I would even say that it is for people who love to run. These people are so competitive and they like it. To me, it’s so obvious. It’s not like this second-tier thing. It’s what keeps ski racing alive.”
A stacked field descends on Taos for the final stop on this season’s World Pro Ski Tour. In addition to Stiegler and Ketterer, American Olympians Paula Moltzan and River Radamus will compete, as well as Canadians Erik Read and Trevor Philp, German Olympic medalist Linus Strasser, American national slalom champion Jett Seymour and the usual group of parallel slashers, including two-time WPST tour champion Rob Cone, Michael Ankeny, Nolan Kasper, Tuva Norbye, and Galena Wardle.
Spectators include Stiegler’s former teammates Julia Mancuso, Bode Miller, as well as ski racing icons Franz Klammer, Billy Kidd and Deb Armstrong.