Kayley Reynolds’s passion for ski has followed her through all her life


Senior Kayley Reynolds has been skiing since she was two years old. Inspired by her father, she took up the sport at a young age and followed the passion her entire life. At ten, she started racing. Now, as the end of high school creeps closer, she is still devoting a significant amount of her time to skiing.

Kayley’s time as a skier has awarded her numerous opportunities to prove her excellence. She’s placed in many competitions and has gone to the Junior Olympics three times. Not only has she been on the varsity team for four years, but she’s also on a travel team that has raced all over Michigan.

“My sophomore year we won states,” Kayley said. “So that was cool. And then we’ve qualified for states three out of my four years. I’ve been a captain for two [years].”

Kayley spends several hours a week focusing on ski. On the weekends, she has ski from eight until five, and during the week she has practice for about two hours every day. On Tuesdays, she has high school races, and on Thursdays, she attends JV races.

Towards the end of the season, Kayley often finds herself feeling burnt out. Focusing many hours a week on ski can often leave her tired and drained, and she has little time for much else.

“I mean being gone every weekend kind of stinks,” Kayley said. “I’m also a student section leader here, but I can’t go to any of the games because I’m always gone. I mean it’s draining, definitely; towards the end of the season, you get done.”

Kayley recharges during ski season by sleeping constantly. When she’s not skiing, she’s probably sleeping, so she can be ready to take on the next task.

But Kayley doesn’t let the difficulty or necessary commitment keep her from doing what she loves. Not only does ski make her happy, but she has bonded with the people she skis with. Seeing each other every week forces Kayley’s ski team to become quickly familiar with each other and therefore bond. Ski as a common interest that only furthers these relationships.

“I love the people who do [ski] too,” Kayley said. “Everyone’s so nice, and I’ve been doing it for so long [that] I know so many people wherever I am. It’s nice to be with people [that] enjoy the same things that I do.”

I love the people who do [ski] too. Everyone’s so nice, and I’ve been doing it for so long [that] I know so many people wherever I am. It’s nice to be with people [that] enjoy the same things that I do.

— Kayley Reynolds

As much as ski means to Kayley, however, she always puts her family first. In turn, they support her in all of her decisions. Kayley’s parents pay for her trips and allow her to pick the races she feels most suited for.

“My mom and dad don’t miss a race ever,” Kayley said. “They’re always there.”

Kayley is also very close to her sister, a sophomore at the University of Utah. Her sister skis as well and is on the ski team at her school. But being 2,000 miles apart makes it difficult for the sisters to see each other. While they remain close, Kayley plans to stay close to home for college.

She was recently accepted into the Lyman Briggs program at Michigan State University. This is the next step in Kayley’s plan to major in biochemistry, then pre-dental, and eventually become a dentist, a dream she’s had for about two years.

Kayley still intends to continue skiing in college. Following in her father’s footsteps, she hopes to join the club ski team at MSU. Most importantly, Kayley is content to remain close to her hometown.

“I’m a big homebody,” Kayley said, “and I like Michigan. My sister goes super far away, and I had choices like that too, but then I realized I’m not the type to leave Michigan.”

As graduation and college inch closer every day, Kayley barely feels nervous. There are still a few lessons she needs to learn before she’s ready to step into the world on her own, but she’s confident she will be ready when the time comes. She knows that no matter what, she has a reliable support system of friends and family who will always be there for her.

“All my friends are kind of going their own way,” Kayley said. “Some are going [to] the same school as me, and that’s cool. But we’re [all] going to be super close. We’re an amazing group of people, so I’m ready [for college]. I think everyone is.”