also nice to have someone out there who thinks like you on
the hill, someone who might have the same tactics as you
— actually, I have much better tactics than Robby!”
“But seriously,” Robby Kelley chimes in, “the age difference
between us didn’t really allow for sibling rivalry. Tim was on
the U.S. Ski Team by the time I made it to high school, and
it was always really good for me to look up to him and hope
that I could be that fast.”
“Four years is quite a difference,” Tim says. “Right now is
really the only time we’ve competed against each other.
It’s definitely motivating trying not to get beat by your little
Reichelt maintains that the Kelleys are similar in terms of
how the coaches approach them as athletes. The Ryleys
are a different story.
“The Kelleys really focus on how to get from A to B fast,
while the Ryleys tend to think about technique more,”
Reichelt says. “We’ve been coaching Meg for a few years
now, so we’ve got that pretty dialed in. We’re just learning
how to coach young Kate — it takes time to develop that
rapport — but I think it’s safe to say she thinks a lot, sometimes too much.”
“Yeah,” says the 21-year-old Kate Ryley, laughing, “I think
way too much sometimes, and the coaches have to tell me
to just shut my mind down ... Honestly, if someone told me
I’d get faster by licking my right pinky toe when turning to the
left, I’d probably try.”
“And that’s simplifying it for her,” adds Reichelt.
Kidding aside, like the Kelleys, the Ryley sisters seem very
appreciative of each other and the capacity for their relationship to make them better skiers.
“If Kate beats me at a race,” says
Meg Ryley, three years Kate’s senior,
“I think having her skiing fast actually
pushes me more than anything. And
if I don’t do well and she does, I’m
psyched that at least one of us represented the Ryleys well ... It’s cool to
be able to share a podium with your
sister and give her a high five, no matter who is first or second.”
Assistant alpine coach Johnny Davidson says that he’s witnessed the
siblings on the team, and the Ryleys
in particular, raise the bar for one another all season.
“In the earliest part of the the year,”
Davidson says, “Kate was skiing really fast, then Meg picked it up and
Tim Kelley, just back from surgeries, is trying to
keep pace with his little brother at the UVM GS.
Meg Ryley was third at the UVM GS, aiming to
keep up with her victorious little sis.
Kate Ryley en route to
the win at UVM GS.