High-Performance Athletes and Sport Innovation at Aiglon, An Ambassador to Inspire our Community
Aiglon College and Olympic champion, Lindsey Vonn announced today the launch of a partnership to enhance the school’s winter sports programme.
Since its founding in 1949, Aiglon has been known for a holistic approach to education where, alongside their studies, students from all over the world develop a close-knit community that embraces our local outdoor environment in expeditions, sport and skiing.
More than ever, Aiglon is committed to the ongoing development and pursuit of excellence and professionalism in these core school programmes. In this way, we remain committed to our heritage while also embracing a future of excellence and ensuring that our students can develop themselves inside and outside the classroom.
Skiing and Aiglon’s winter programme has been at the heart of the student experience since the school’s earliest days. The programme is designed to be able to support skiers and students of all abilities and experiences to develop a lifelong love for the mountains. Winter activities at Aiglon include skiing, snowboarding, freestyle skiing, ski touring, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice climbing and more. However, the skiing programme is highly adaptable, and the school has a rich tradition of also developing a select group of student-athletes who have the drive and potential to excel in high-performance downhill ski racing. Each year, approximately 60-65 students are part of the Aiglon race team, with several having even represented their countries’ national teams on the international stage.
This new, one-of-a-kind collaboration with Ms Vonn will offer every Aiglon skier the opportunity for a world-class skiing education in our local mountain resort of Villars-sur-Ollon and in the surrounding Swiss Alps.
Ms Vonn will provide consultancy expertise on the establishment of a new initiative, Aiglon’s high-performance athletes and sport innovation programme. In particular, she will help to further develop Aiglon’s ski programme. She will support Aiglon in identifying, selecting and appointing an elite ski coach for the high-performance team, as well as helping to review and validate the elite programme and training regimes.
“During the 15 years she competed at the highest level, she established herself as one of Alpine skiing’s all-time greats. At Vancouver 2010, she became the USA’s first-ever women’s downhill Olympic champion. She set a number of new records for women, including 82 World Cup victories, as well as several for men and women, including a record 18 victories on the same course (Lake Louise), 20 crystal globes and 43 downhill victories.” (Source: International Olympic Committee).
“Aiglon is a unique Swiss boarding school: our outdoor location alongside our not-for-profit status gives us the freedom to push beyond the boundaries of traditional education to develop and invest in the best possible experience for our students,” stated School Director Nicola Sparrow. “We are honoured to welcome sporting icon Ms Vonn to our community. Her inspirational story and experience will allow us to take Aiglon’s high performance ski programme to the next level as well as build a solid foundation for our wider high-performance athletes and sport innovation programme.”
“I am honoured and proud to have the opportunity to partner with Aiglon College, a world-class international boarding school and a true beacon of sporting excellence,” stated Lindsey Vonn. “Aiglon’s winter ski programme is one of the great benefits students receive at the school, and what I like the best is that it offers something for everyone.”
The partnership between Ms Vonn and Aiglon is the second of such unique arrangements at the school. Earlier this year, Aiglon and Manchester City Football Club announced a partnership bringing on a specialised football coach. The result is that Aiglon is increasingly able to welcome expert sport coaches, individuals who work at the top of their sport and who bring a unique understanding of youth sport development and age-specific programmes.
“Our physical education (PE) programme focuses on holistic development,” stated James Dyson, Head of Physical Education (PE) and Sport. “We value teaching teamwork, cooperation, communication and resilience through diverse sports and activities, ranging from our extensive winter programme and traditional team games. Our aim is to provide students with a love of physical activity for life.”
Aiglon is pleased that Ms Vonn also brings such a holistic perspective to this new partnership. Her determined and successful career has taught her resilience and to never give up, and she leverages these experiences to support the next generation. She has dedicated her future to ensuring students can pursue their dreams in a safe and supportive environment while mastering the sport she loves.
Beyond skiing, Ms Vonn is committed to empowering the youth within a positive and constructive atmosphere. Her focus is to help children grow as individuals in whatever their passions may be as learners, athletes, or artists. Through her foundation, she has supported children to gain confidence, build inclusivity, and discover their grit.
Ms Vonn stated, “This occasion marks the fusion of two worlds: the world of academic pursuit and the realm of high performance athletic achievement. As we embark on this journey together, I am reminded that greatness knows no boundaries, and the pursuit of excellence transcends disciplines.”
In January 2024, Aiglon will also welcome a Head of High Performance Athletes and Sport Innovation in order to further develop the school’s elite sporting programmes. This new member of our team will work in collaboration with Ms Vonn.
We are excited to see the development of this partnership and our wider sports programme. We believe that these developments are the next step in a journey that further encourages our students in the value of holistic education and high achievement. Whether a student joins Aiglon and has never put on skis or as an already accomplished ski racer, this partnership will help all of our students to develop in mind, body and spirit.