and to benefit the team with points. Now I have more confidence
and believe I could actually be top-five at Nationals.”
Pletcher has already returned to climbing, too, even rappelling the
route of his accident to consider what exactly went wrong. After
graduation, he plans to continue climbing and to nordic race with
the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s Gold Team.
Just down the road in Denver, another Colorado skier who had a
head-turning season in 2011 has been recognized for her accom-
plishments. The University of Denver’s Sterling Grant was named
2011 Colorado Sportswoman of the Year for alpine skiing. Sports-
women of Colorado is recognized as the first community-based
organization in the country to solely honor female athletes and cel-
ebrate their achievements in individual and team-sport endeavors.
As a freshman, Grant was undefeated in slalom racing, includ-
ing her performances in the NCAA championships and the Win-
ter World University Games in Erzurum, Turkey, where she repre-
sented Team USA. She chose to attend the University of Denver
instead of accepting a nomination to the U.S. Ski Team, and she
helped lead the Pioneers to a fifth-place team finish at the NCAA
championships last year. University of Denver head alpine coach
Andy LeRoy says he is appreciative of the attention his slalom ace
has received. “What Sterling did last year was amazing,” he says.
“Winning an individual national championship, a World University
Games title and every other contest she entered shows just how
special her season was. For her to still be recognized for that year
is well deserved and fun to see.”
Grant will be formally recognized at the 38th Annual Sportswomen
of Colorado Banquet in Denver on Sunday, March 11, following the
Reid Pletcher shows both
his body and spirit are
ready for competition.
Pletcher has already
returned to the sport that
nearly claimed his life.