Bridging the Opportunity Divide

How Does a Professional Skier Inspire Kids Toward Academic Achievement?

October 24, 2014
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How Does a Professional Skier Inspire Kids Toward Academic Achievement?
Skier Chris Anthony uses the lessons he learned on the slopes to connect with children. Chris Anthony/Facebook
Turns out, athletic videos can be used to teach a variety of subject matters.

If you live in Colorado, you know to expect the release of a movie highlighting the daring exploits of professional skiers in far-flung, snowy mountains from Warren Miller Entertainment each year.

Chris Anthony has been a featured athlete in the films for 25 years, but one of his lesser-known achievements is the inspiration he’s been bringing to young people for 15 years through his Chris Anthony Youth Initiative Project.

The 48-year-old Anthony visits schools across the country and shows clips from the films as a way to teach kids life lessons that he hopes will spur them to achieve academically and athletically. He tells Jason Blevins of the Denver Post, “I want to reach as many kids as possible. I want to let kids know there are many paths to success and they can use whatever talents they have to reach their goals. The idea is to inspire and motivate kids to go out and find their niche.”

Anthony’s presentations emphasize different ways of thinking about academic subjects that might reach kids who don’t connect with traditional methods. For example, he often shows a video of Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shriffin slaloming to teach lessons in physics and geometry. And he teaches history through the film “Climb To Glory,” about the 10th Mountain Division Ski Troopers in World War II.

He also focuses on teaching outdoor safety to kids in mountain schools. “We should be educating our kids in the mountains about both the opportunities and dangers in the backcountry. We have an opportunity here to create more awareness,” he tells the Denver Post.

Anthony recently started a foundation which raises money to fund even more school visits, as well as a scholarship program. Several other professional skiers have joined his mission, realizing that they have skills to showcase off the mountain too. “This becomes a channel for them to give back,” Anthony says.

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