Being a part of the U.S. Freeskiing team has its perks. This last weekend I was lucky enough to be included in a very special fundraising event held in San Francisco. Since USSA is a non-profit organization they rely heavily on donations to support the athletes on the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Teams. This differs from most other countries, where the government provides a substantial amount of money for its teams. Therefore, events like this fundraiser are very important and we count on the people that attend for support. Without these donations, many of us would not have the resources to train and compete on a world-class level.  

The event just happened to take place on a very busy weekend in San Francisco—there was a Blue Angels air show, a large bluegrass festival, fleet week, the America’s Cup and the MLB Postseason. This made for an activity-filled day before the ball, which took place in the evening. I headed out early with fellow U.S. Freeskiing teammate, Grete Eliassen, for a day of sightseeing. With our feet as our main source of transportation we trekked across the city to visit the Painted Ladies, which are Victorian- and Edwardian-style houses painted in three or more colors. We both were excited about this as huge fans of the TV show, Full House, in which the introduction was filmed in Alamo Square and they lived in one of the Painted Ladies. 

From there we huffed up some of the famous steep hills that the city stands on and met up with U.S. Snowboard Team member Elena Hight and U.S. Ski Team members Marco Sullivan and Shannon Bahrke. We headed to one of the donors’ (who we met the night before at dinner) beautiful apartments for a rooftop gathering to watch the Blue Angels air show over the bay. While standing on this rooftop, with the theme music from Top Gun playing and F/A-18 planes flying at eye level, I questioned multiple times whether I was in a dream. Let’s just say everything was too perfect to feel like real life. 

This dream-like feeling continued as the day went on. The transformation of skiers and snowboarders into “cocktail attire” was impressive and I would say that we all clean up very well. The ball took place in the Old Mint building and it was breathtaking. From sharing our stories with others to the remarkable trampoline show that took place in the courtyard, the evening was a huge success. I loved hearing others success stories and business ideas that could change the world. I am very grateful to have met so many amazing people over the weekend and can’t wait to be a part of another magical event like this one.