PARK CITY, Utah — Yesterday was graduation day for student-athletes of the Winter Sports School (WSS) in Park City. A few students each year are not able to walk in the ceremony as they are already traveling the country, if not the world, as elite competitors.
Classes at the WSS run from April through November to give students time during the winter months to focus on athletic training and competition. They complete a full college preparatory curriculum in 144 days over seven months.
Four-time Olympian and two-time gold medalist Ted Ligity is quoted on the WSS website as saying, “I graduated and made it straight onto the U.S. Ski Team, but I felt like the education here helped me with what I’ve done since then, and I was able to start my own business with Shred and also feel like I’m better equipped for the rest of the world.”
- Alpine Skiing,
- Freestyle Skiing
- Nordic Combined
- Nordic Skiing
- Nordic Ski Jumping
- Figure Skating
- Speed Skating
Areas of instruction are held to the core requirements for Utah high school graduation and for college admissions and include:
- Foreign Language*
- Social Studies*
- CTE (Career and Technical Education)
Physical Education credits and progress towards the WSS graduation requirements are earned by virtue of the hours the athletes spend training and competing with the teams and coaches of their choice; an eligible coach or athletic director must sign off on those hours.
Over its 20 years, WSS graduates have gone on to win Olympic, World Cup, National, Collegiate, and junior titles in multiple sports.
The fully accredited, 9 – 12 grade school began as a private school 20 years ago but approximately ten years ago it switched to a public charter school, to which Utah residents pay no tuition.