Keene's Thomas Biesemeyer is eager for this winter's ski season.
After skiing with the U.S. Development Ski Team in 2008, the 21-year-old made the U.S. Ski Team's B squad last year. Unfortunately for Biesemeyer, he couldn't take advantage of the opportunity because he tore his ACL while training with the U.S. World Cup Team in Portillo, Chile, prior to the season.
This season, though, after a successful rehabilitation program that included time at the Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah and spring training camp at Mammoth Mountain in California, Biesemeyer is back to full strength and is looking to have a successful season.
Thomas Biesemeyer of Keene trains for the U.S. Ski Team recently in Vail, Colo.
(U.S. Ski Team — Tom Kelly)
"It's been a difficult year. I'm glad to be back to 100 percent," Biesemeyer said in a phone interview with the Enterprise.
Biesemeyer grew up skiing at Whiteface Mountain, participating in the New York Ski Educational Foundation from the age of 3. He attended Keene central school until 10th grade, then transferred to National Sports Academy, with the hope of becoming a world class skier. Biesemeyer has deferred his admission and athletic scholarship to the University of Vermont to pursue his dream of being on the U.S. Ski Team.
Now Biesemeyer is training and competing against the best alpine skiers in the world. He is joined on the B team by the likes of Olympian Will Brandenburg; Travis Ganong and Tommy Ford, who excelled at the U.S. National Alpine Championships at Whiteface Mountain Ski Center last spring. The A team includes top skiers Jimmy Cochran, Bode Miller and Lake Placid's Andrew Weibrecht, who took a bronze in the Olympics last winter.
Biesemeyer's career highlights
2009: World Junior Championships, 11th in SG
2009: 6th at U.S. Champs in DH, 13th in SL
2009: Winner of Shelly Glover Memorial SG
2009: Six FIS race podiums on the season
2009: 3rd in super-G at Panorama NorAm
"It's pretty awesome to be where I am now," said Biesemeyer, who now lives full time in Park City.
But Biesemeyer said whether you are on the A or the B team doesn't matter as much as how you are performing during the season. By performing well over a number of competitions, you can move up into higher level races.
Biesemeyer said he expects to compete in several World Cup events this year and may do so as soon as this weekend at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. That also happens to be where he spent much of his time this summer, training with the U.S. Ski Team. The Lake Louise race will feature downhill and super-G.
Biesemeyer races super-G, giant slalom and super combined. He said super-G is the reason he is on the team. He was ranked 59th in the world in the event this past spring, when he was nominated to the ski team.
So far in competition, he's doing pretty well this year. His season opened on Nov. 15 in Vail, Colo., where he took second place in an FIS giant slalom race, falling short of winner Robbie Dixon, a Canadian.
Now when Biesemeyer steps to the starting line, he has a renewed appreciation for what he's doing because of the injury.
"Every time I race, I treat it as if it's my (last) race," he said.