PARK CITY (ABC4 Utah News) - Former World Cup Skiing Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Picabo Street has added a new title - School Founder.
A little over a year ago she started the Picabo Street Academy, an academic center tailored for athletes, artists or anyone who can't be in a classroom seven hours a day, five days a week, nine months a year.
"We have a lot that are ready to come in the door that have anything from, let's say, lupus that makes it difficult for them to come to school more than a couple of days for a couple of hours a week all the way to figure skaters who can barely fit us is into their busy schedules at age 13," Street said.
Many current students are world class athletes with rigorous schedules that take them around the world. To facilitate their education, the Academy is open year round
with rolling enrollment, meaning they can start at any time. It's open all day and their attendance is planned around their training and competition schedules with individualized online classes and tests. All challenges that Street encountered growing up in the 80's.
"My education back then was through correspondence curriculum so I took everything to the post office and sent everything to Alaska in the mail," Street said. "Today they just hit send on their computer so it makes it so easy for them to get a great education while they're moving about the country or the world with just a push of the button...It was difficult for me growing up and balancing the athletics and academics and that's where a lot of the passion for this school came from was not having the kids run into such a roadblock with that or compromise one or the other."
Dan Kemp is the Head of School and Co-Founder of Picabo Street Academy.
"If you're a student and you're an athlete really trying to pursue the highest levels of your sport I don't know anyone better than Picabo Street to ask about those experiences," Kemp said. "What a great mentor."
Street says she's passionate about working with these children and one of them just might be the next Picabo Street.
"If there is the next one of me which is kind of embarrassing to even say but it's true they do aspire for that level and I represent that so if there is one, we're going to do our best to make sure that he or she makes it," Street said.
The school currently operates in a business park but Street has plans to build a new facility at the Utah Olympic Park.
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