Skaneateles Nico Petrocci skis for the love of skiing. His parents go along and support him, but are general newcomers to the competitive world of ski racing. And so it has been a bit of a surprise to have coaches and ski academies approaching them after seeing Nico fly down the slopes at the USSA Eastern Finals in Okemo, Vermont, last week.
At 16, Nico won the overall title at Easterns. There is one other person who won at Easterns at such a young age, and that was Olympic and World Gold Medalist Bode Miller.
“I think he has something that my husband and I weren’t really aware of,” said Nico’s mom, Cole Petrocci. “I was aware of it the past two weeks because strangers were walking up to me and saying ‘Are you Nico’s mom?’” she recalled.
At the USSA Eastern Finals from March 4 to 7, Nico took first place in the Giant Slalom. Then he placed third in slalom, and fifth in the Super Giant Slalom and first for his age group, for which his team in CNY doesn’t even train. His placements in races throughout the event made him the overall first place winner of the entire event.
Serious racers and coaches see his talent and have encouraged his parents to put him in an academy … somewhere where he can be skiing all of the time. He won this event while skiing against many skiers who go to private ski academies and ski all of the time, explained local fan Susan Gorman, whose children also ski.
Nico describes skiing as “my most favorite activity. If I could be doing anything in the world, it would be skiing.”
He skis with the MPH team and represents Skaneateles. The coach for the MPH team is Christian Ringvold, from Norway, who lives in Skaneateles and was in the Norwegian Cup.