Schleper, 32, shared the special day and the wardrobe decision with her husband and her beloved U.S Ski Team sisters.
“We came up with my outfit the night before at dinner with my teammates,” said Schleper the evening of her last run.
“They told me to wear a bikini but my husband thought that was too much skin. Luckily Julia had a swimsuit so I wore that
underneath because my dress came up the whole run.”
Halfway down the track where Schleper recorded her best World Cup finish as a mother (fifth in a slalom in 2009), she
stopped to retrieve her 3-year-old son, Lasse, from a coach. Mother and son crossed finish line to be greeted by teammates and fellow racers from around the world with hugs and flowers.
Schleper said the fun outfit helped her from becoming too emotional at the top of the course. “The Swiss coach came
up to me and thanked me and told me, ‘You’ve done a lot for our sport;’ I started getting teary-eyed,” she said. “I don’t
think a lot of people knew it was my last race until they saw my outfit; then everyone started giving me hugs at the start.
It was pretty emotional.”
Schleper has been collecting friends on the World Cup tour since her debut in 1995, when she was 16 years old and
was named the Ski Racing Junior of the Year. It’s these friends Schleper says she’ll miss the most. “The U.S. team is
such a family; we travel so much together, we are constantly around each other so to leave them behind feels kind of
crosses her last
Schleper, in the pre-
helmet days, opts for a
pair of Viking wings.