Player Profile: Benjamin Finkelstein


Name: Benjamin Finkelstein

Grade: 12

Sport: Ski

Position: Captain

How long have you been skiing?

“I started skiing when I was about four, and I wasn’t a fan of it. The air was cold, the boots hurt, and everyone was faster than me. I joined the Wind Alpine JDT (Junior Development Team) at Cannonsburg when I was probably eight. That’s when skiing became a part of my identity; that’s when I found my passion. Skiing gave me an escape from the world. When I joined the varsity high school team as a freshman, I was a little intimidated by the upperclassmen. That is until I realized that I intimidated them equally. My respect for the seniors on the team that freshman year was reciprocated as they welcomed me to the team and to the family.”

Why do you continue to ski?

“I’ve grown to love the cold days, the fresh awakening, the renewal from an otherwise stale day. The feeling of gliding down a hill is about as close to the feeling of flying as I’ve felt, besides scuba diving. And we’re all just trying to find our wings in this world, whatever muse we find it in. Mine happens to be in the snow packed hills with the crisp snow crunching under my boots as I walk over that Cannonsburg bridge to clip into my skis and fly away.”

Who/What have been your biggest inspiration?

“When I was younger, I would always look to skiing stars like Bode Miller, Ted Ligety, Mikaela Shiffrin, and Lindsey Vonn. While these idols are still prominent role models, I have begun to recognize my greatest motivators are my teammates: my friends on the hill. No matter their level of skiing, these people show up every day ready to have another best day. That is the aspect of a team that brings us together; our shared passion bonds us into one coherent unit, and the fun is endless.”

Why do you want to be part of the Ski Team?

“Why wouldn’t anyone want to be a part of the ski team? Besides the pay-to-play fee, we don’t 6e require any additional costs. This allows families to concentrate their investments on a season pass and ski equipment if they so choose.With 42 members, we continue to be one of the largest teams in the school.Skiing proves to be a lifetime sport and can take you to some pretty cool places if you pursue it ambitiously.Our conference races attract about 16 local high schools and probably 100-150 athletes per Varsity race.Personally, the ski team provides me with a block of time to relieve the stress of school in one of the most fun and chill sports offered by the school; yet still, the degree of physical demand depends on the level of competition the athlete desires to achieve.”

What is a quote that inspires you?

“The mountains are calling and I must go” – John Muir

“The mountains are a universal escape that anyone can enjoy.”

What is the best part of skiing?

“The sense of freedom that it brings. And the buffalo wings from the bar on the second floor at Cannonsburg. Those are always a classic, at least for me. For real though, the best part of skiing is the places it takes you. I mean this not only physically, but the sport, in its purest form, teaches a level of time-management and self-dependency that can be applied to myriad other facets of life that can continue to be used far down the road.”