Former Middlebury College nordic skier Garrott Kuzzy '06 of Minneapolis, Minn. has been named to the U.S. Olympic Team, officials from the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) announced today. He joins former Panthers Andrew Johnson ('02-Salt Lake, '06-Torino), Dorcas Denhartog '87 ('88-Calgary, '92-Albertville, '94-Lillehammer) and Sue Long '82 ('84-Sarajevo) as nordic skiing Olympians. Kuzzy earned his degree from Middlebury in 2006, graduating with a double major in German and geography. He was also a four-year member of the men's cross country team, where he earned All-NESCAC and All-New England honors, while competing in the NCAAs during his junior year. Middlebury is now one of two NCAA programs with more than one Olympian slated to compete in Vancouver (Utah).
At Middlebury, Kuzzy qualified for the NCAAs in all four years he competed. His top finishes came during his sophomore season in 2004, where he earned All-American honors with a fourth place finish in the 10K race. He finished 12 th in the 20K that year, while placing 13 th in the 10K during his rookie season.
Terry Aldrich, who coached skiing at Middlebury for 31 years, was excited about Kuzzy's opportunity. "Garrott was one of the hardest working student-athletes I have ever had the privilege of coaching. He truly loved both running and skiing and his positive attitude and love of the sport were infectious to his teammates," said Aldrich. "We are thrilled with his accomplishment of being named to the 2010 Olympic team as no one deserves it more."
Following graduation, Kuzzy was accepted into the Central Cross Country (CXC) Elite Development Program based in Hayward, Wisconsin. He quickly established himself as one of the country's premier skiers in both sprint and distance events. In 2008, he finished ninth at the World Cup held in Canmore, Alberta, his strongest result to date. Kuzzy won a combination of three SuperTours and Canadian NorAms and was second in the U.S. Championship freestyle sprint last year. In 2009, he was named to the US Ski Team.
"Garrot had outstanding early season results on the USSA SuperTour and we were excited today to be able to add him to our Olympic Team," said USSA Nordic Director John Farra.
Athletes are presently training around the country, preparing for a pre-Olympic camp and World Cup on the 1988 Olympic trails in Canmore, Alberta from February 1-8. The team will arrive in Vancouver on Feb. 9 to prepare for a schedule that includes 12 medal events.
"It's a great thing to have Garrott named to the Olympic team, said current Middlebury College Nordic Head Coach Andrew Gardner. "He's always been great with his time when back in the Middlebury area and I know that current members of the team are thrilled by his success since it hasn't been long since he left our program."