Ieva looking over the famous Golden Eagle jump

For small nations skiers, participation is important, but just finishing isn’t good enough

There are 69 countries represented here in Vail-Beaver Creek, Colorado, for the FIS World Alpine Ski Championships. Some of them are well-known in the ski racing world, and attend these and other big ski racing events with an entourage of coaches, doctors, trainers, ski technicians, and even personal assistants. But the majority of the field is made up of up-and-coming racers doing it mostly on their own, and many of them are from small nations like Lithuania, Latvia, Georgia, Israel, Brazil (at least in the ski racing world), and even Haiti and Mexico, countries that don’t even have snow. […]