Bryce Astle (L) and Ronnie Berlack (R)
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On January 5th, 2015 Ronnie Berlack and Bryce Astle died in an avalanche while free-skiing at the Sölden resort in Austria. They were participating at a USST training camp and were enjoying a rare day off on skis.
The avalanche not only claimed the lives of two extremely talented and promising young ski racers, but cut short the lives of two young men who possessed the best of all the qualities necessary to be successful while living life to the fullest.
From inception, the Fast Skier Junior Alpine Scholarship Fund has recognized young alpine ski athletes who excel both on and off the hill. Solid character, compassion for others, community involvement, along with passion and commitment to their sport are the traits we have looked for and found in all of our past winners.
Both Ronnie and Bryce had achieved notable success in racing and were likely on their way to becoming full members of the US Ski Team. Like most their success was a result of hard work, countless hours of training and a desire to be the fastest guy on the hill on any given day. However, their success was ultimately a product of who they were and not just what they could do on skis. These two were the closest of friends and shared an outlook and attitude that focused on much more than results. Much has been written about these two; their results and prospects for the future. More has been written and said about who they were as people. Ronnie’s sense of humor and inclusive personality; Bryce’s ability to live in the moment and his ability to put the entire process into perspective stand out.
Both of these young men truly represent all we had in mind when we created the award seven years ago. Therefore it is only fitting that we acknowledge and remember Ronnie and Bryce by dedicating the award to their legacy. We can’t think of two better role models for future applicants to aspire to.
Once again we will offer two Awards, one each to a deserving 2015/16 U16 male and female junior alpine ski racer. The award is intended to provide assistance to USSA U16 athletes who exhibit the personal characteristics required for success both on and off the hill. Each winner will receive a minimum cash prize of $1,000 and an assortment of ski race products and swag!
Past winners have all possessed an extreme level of dedication and passion for ski racing so crucial for success. We also believe in the critical role academics, community involvement and family play in success both on and off the race hill. The award recognizes accomplishments in all aspects of U16 life. Our hope is that we can help deserving racers defray some of the cost associated with participation in the expensive sport of alpine ski racing.
The application deadline for the 2016 season is January 31, 2017. Meet the 2015 recipients here.
To apply, complete the online form or download the application form here.