October 23, 2017 – In this season kick-off edition of Talkin’ With the Gravy Train, our host Peter Graves talks with legendary Rick Kapala, the Program Director and head coach for cross-country skiing at the Sun Valley Ski Educational Foundation (SVSEF) since 1987.
Rick K sports Team Glitter at Junior Nationals in Telemark © courtesy of Rick Kapala
Kapala, a longtime coaching fixture in the sport, has a remarkable record of not only helping to build world-class skiing talent but he’s also been a positive force for mentorship across the country.
A long-time respected member of the USSA Cross-Country Sport Committee he’s coached on the international stage at both the Nordic World Championships and at the Junior Worlds. Kapala has also received the USSA Cross-Country Coach of the year award three times.
Rick Kapala, soon to receive "USSA Coach of the Year" in 2016 © David Knoop
Rick (far right) with West High Boys Team at AK State Champs in 1985 © courtesy of Rick Kapala
At Junior Nationals at Soldier Hollow © courtesy of Rick Kapala
In this episode of TWTGT, you’ll see why he’s among the sport’s most respected coaches and learn first-hand how this Michigan native has had such a positive influence on the sport, not only at his own SVSEF program but across the nation. He also talks about his views on American Nordic skiing, the importance of life lessons, character building and his love for the sport.
Rick with his wife Bridget on a bike tour through Yellowstone © courtesy of Rick Kapala