action:article | category:SPORTS | adString:SPORTS | zoneID:40

Home » Sports

January 29. 2014 10:55PM

Sochi surge

Late surge to Sochi for Hanover skier


Julia Krass of Hanover skis during the U.S. Grand Prix Women's Slopestyle Freestyle Skiing at Copper Mountain in Colorado last month. Krass was named to the U.S. Olympic team earlier this week and departed Wednesday for Russia. (Nathan Bilow-USA TODAY Sports)

HANOVER — When slopestyle skier Julia Krass took first place in a competition in Utah, she locked up a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. The only problem was that she had no passport.

A 16-year-old Hanover High School junior, Krass was considered a long shot for an Olympic berth. But in the final qualifying event, the Jan. 18 Visa Freeskiing Grand Prix at Park City, she made the U.S. coaches' decision for them.

"Going into that last event she was sitting at sixth," her father, Peter Krass, said. "Julia just sort of swooped in like the dark horse, I guess. So it took a lot of people by surprise."

"It caught her by surprise in some respects, but that was the goal going into the competition."

The younger Krass was so caught by surprise, her father said, that she hadn't secured a passport or visa to travel to Sochi, Russia, where she will compete as part of the four-member U.S. slopestyle squad.

"Everyone (else) on that team got their visas back in the fall in the hopes they would make the Olympic team," Peter Krass said.

Unlike other aspiring Olympic slopestylers, Julia had not spent her summer training and competing, Peter Krass said. Moreover, he added, while other members of the U.S. program were competing in New Zealand in August and training in Europe during the fall, his daughter was going to school and playing for the Hanover High girls'soccer team.

"She was completely out of the picture," her father said.

But she started on the Grand Prix circuit this season and began studying with an online charter school to accommodate her skiing schedule, Peter Krass said. Then, suddenly, it seemed, it was time to pack for Sochi.

"When she got selected at the very last minute, we had to fly back here and get her a valid passport," Krass said.

"Somewhere there was a glitch in the paperwork," he continued, noting the problem could have taken up to three weeks to clear up.

The Krass family was told to have their federal representatives contact the Russian embassy to fast-track the application process, so Monday evening they contacted the offices of U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte and U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster.

Both offices responded swiftly, Peter Krass said, and Julia received her passport and visa Tuesday night — in time to fly out of Salt Lake City on Wednesday morning with the U.S. Ski Team.

"They were really helpful," Peter Krass said of Ayotte's and Kuster's staffs. "They got on the problem right away and did what they could to move the process along."

Now, he and his wife, Diana, are scrambling to get their own passports and visas so they can attend the Olympics and see Julia compete in the slopestyle competition on Feb. 11.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing," Peter Krass said.

Originally from Connecticut, the Krass family moved to Hanover when Julia was 2 years old.

She started skiing at Whaleback Mountain in Enfield at the age of 2½, her father said. When she was 7, she started skiing with a freestyle team at Whaleback that was founded by Olympian Evan Dybvig. A few years ago, Julia started spending her winters training at Waterville Valley Academy.

Now she's in Sochi along with the rest of the U.S. Olympians, including another Hanover High Marauder, 2004 graduate Hannah Kearney, the reigning gold medalist in freestyle moguls.

mpierce@newstote.com



 NH Sports Angle ╗ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Former All-Star Red Sox shortstop Rico Petrocelli: ôblessedö to have grown up in Brooklyn, now lives in Nashua

Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk, right, tangles with Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in the first period of Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals hockey playoff series in this 2013 file photo.

NH-based insurer sues NHL to limit its defense in players concussion lawsuits

A's claim former Fisher Cat Marcus Walden

Mariano Rivera's son to pitch for NH squad

Kevin Davis, CEO and president of Bauer Performance Sports, displays Bauer Hockey's latest innovation in hockey skates — the Vapor APX 2 with easily changeable skate blades in this 2013 file photo.

Exeter-based Bauer continues to expand beyond hockey with $330M purchase of baseball firm Easton-Bell

Hollis-Brookline head football coach resigns unexpectedly

New owners for Waukewan Golf Club

Matches announced for USA v. Cuba clash at Rockingham Park this weekend

Boston Marathon victim Jeff Baumann throws out the first pitch prior to the start of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park last year.

Service's creed on display in support of airman affected by Boston bombing

40-year-old Manchester mechanical engineer wins MMA decision

New Hampshire Motor Speedway touts viability of casino site in Loudon

USA Knockouts Tamed in Cuba

U.S., Cuba boxers clash in Havana, U.S. bouts set for Rockingham Park in Salem

Lee USA Speedway opens season April 13

Newmarket woman plans world-record cross-country run for charity

CHIP KELLY

Is Chip Kelly racist?

World Series of Boxing event moved to Rockingham Park - USA vs. Cuba

Manchester man in top 30 candidates for Padres public address announcer

NH man helps MLB players deal with stresses on, off the field

Review of the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook

New Hampshire Motor Speedway may run Sprint Cup race in 2015 under the lights

How Boston lost the Patriots and 'New England' grabbed the NFL's 'Gold Standard'

Twin State Speedway gets new manager

Yale promotes former UNH coach to offensive coordinator

Bulldogs sign UNH's Nick Sorkin

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   ╗ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   ╗ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!