Veteran nordic skier Jake Adicoff ’18 was one of eight athletes in the nation named to the men’s U.S. Paralympic Nordic Ski Team. This is the second time Adicoff will compete in the Paralympics, skiing in three visually impaired events once the games begin on March 9 in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Skiing has been a major part of Adicoff’s life since second grade when he began skiing with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s junior nordic development team in his home state of Idaho. He broke onto the national level in 2011 when he raced in the Junior National Championships.
Adicoff’s career began internationally when he was selected to represent the United States in Sochi at the 2014 Paralympic Games. At his first paralympic debut, Adicoff placed sixth in both the 20km classic style and the 4 by 2.5km mixed relay with Tatyana McFadden, seventh in the cross-country freestyle, eighth in the cross-country sprint and 14th in the biathlon sprint.
Last year, Adicoff competed in the World Cup Competition in PyeongChang, where he won two golds and a bronze on the same courses that he will compete on in March.
“I was in Korea one year ago. The rest of the competition was there with the exception of the Russian team,” said Adicoff. “It was good to have gone there and to have done well. It’s definitely a little confidence boost. It will still be challenging though.”
Despite his success internationally, Adicoff is currently focused on the Bowdoin ski team and the final two races of his college career.
“When I am at school, I am very focused on the NCAA competitions,” said Adicoff. “When I [went] to Korea and when I went to Russia four years ago, even though I wasn’t in school, I [was] focused on the races there.”
Adicoff has been training six days a week since last April and doesn’t claim to have any secret to his success.
“There isn’t anything special that I am doing for these races,” said Adicoff. “It’s [just part of] this grand scheme of ski fast this whole season.”
Adicoff has led through example since he arrived at Bowdoin four years ago. His professional nature, knowledge and experience as a racer set a new tone for the team that has increased the level of focus and commitment of each member.
“He was a really big piece of the puzzle in terms of increasing the level of focus and commitment on the team [in order to have] a group of people who are ready to ski fast and work hard,” Head Coach Nathan Alsobrook said.
Adicoff’s focus and hard work have set him apart from other athletes. In 2011, he was awarded the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Dave Quinn Award, which is given to an athlete who demonstrates a strong work ethic, a love for the sport and the ability to overcome obstacles.
However, those who best know Adicoff see these attributes as “Jake just being Jake.”
“Jake is probably training as much or more than any other skier I’ve ever coached,” Alsobrook said. “He’s really pushing the boundaries of being an academically successful student at a very rigorous college like Bowdoin and still being able to compete and train at this high level.”
According to Alsobrook, Adicoff’s intense training schedule and competitiveness oftentimes causes his visual impairment to be overlooked.
“[Adicoff] doesn’t get all the credit he deserves for skiing as a visually impaired skier in our league when that is such a critical piece in what we do—read the course in front of you and respond to the terrain and the other skiers around you,” said Alsobrook. “It’s very easy for us to overlook that because he handles everything so beautifully.”