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Skidmore College

Alumna to coach Team Mexico in Winter Olympics

February 8, 2018

Environmental studies major Lyndsay Strange '09 is about to experience the biggest moment yet in her career. When the Mexico delegation enters the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games opening ceremony Sarah Schleper, Lyndsay's client, will be bearing the flag as a world-class contender in Ladies' Giant Slalom.

Lyndsay Strange '09 is coaching Team Mexico in the Winter Olympics
Schelper (left) gets a celebratory fist bump from her coach, Strange '09 (right), at the 2018 World Cup in Italy.

Flash back a decade, and Strange is a student-athlete at Skidmore College splitting her time between studying geology and geographic information systems and competing in alpine ski club and on the women's lacrosse team.

After graduating in 2009, Strange went on to become a USSA-certified alpine ski coach, founding her own training company, Party Beach Ski Camps. But it was a casual text message just last year that propelled her life to the main stage.

While in Switzerland for the FIS Alpine World Championships, Strange sent a text message to Sarah Schleper to let her know she would be cheering her on from the sidelines. Schleper is a former US Ski Team member, American-Mexican alpine skier with multiple podium finishes on the World Cup circuit, five Olympic appearances, and seven national championships. Her response to Strange's text changed everything – the coach Schleper had hired was injured and she asked Strange to represent her.

Undeterred by the fact that she had only two weeks to prepare, Strange accepted Schleper's offer and got right to work. In a press interview, Strange said, "I thought to myself that this is amazing [...] I get to coach at world championships with all of the big shots. Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin, they're all there."

One year later, Strange and Schleper are hitting the road again but this time, it's for the Olympic stage.

"We couldn't be more proud of Lyndsay and are excited to be rooting her on from her Skidmore home!" said Nicki Damiano, coordinator of club sports at Skidmore. "Lyndsay's story is what we desire for every Skidmore student – the ability to take their liberal arts education, pair it with hands-on experiences, and go into the world with the confidence they need to grab opportunity when it comes their way."

Strange will be coaching Schleper as she prepares for the Ladies' Giant Slalom competition on Monday, Feb. 12.

Join us in following Strange's journey in South Korea on her blog and through her Twitter and Instagram accounts. For more behind-the-scenes action in PyeonChang and a glimpse at life as an Olympic athlete, follow Schleper's video blog.

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