By Alicia Dziak
Locals know Miguel Azcarate for many things. He’s a former professional ski racer from Spain. He and his wife Kimberly Reading own the landmark Mud Sweat n’ Gears Ski and Snowboard Shop. He is the Training Center Director at Holiday Valley. He’s a longtime ski coach who operates the Ligety Weibretch Summer Ski Camp in Mount Hood, Oregon, coaching alongside Ted Ligety and Andrew Weibretch.
Now he’s adding something new to his long list of credentials: Azcarate was asked by U.S. Ski Team to be a guest coach at the men’s fall speed camp in Chile.
“I’ve worked with many coaches and athletes from the World Cup and U.S. Ski Team for the last seven years at our summer ski camp in Mount Hood,” Azcarate explained. “These athletes are the best skiers in the world, so I’m looking forward to this opportunity,” he said of his upcoming 2-3 week-long trip.
In Chile, Azcarate will be coaching Ligety and Weibretch, as well as Marco Sullivan, Steve Nyman and Travis Ganong, although no specific duties are on the docket as of yet. “I will be helping with anything they need,” Azcarate said.
The camp will be held at Corralco Ski Area, a premier race training venue in the southern part of Chile. While heading to Chile may be a culture shock to many, Azcarate is very familiar with the country. “I spent many years ski racing in Chile, specifically at Portillo, La Parva and Termas de Chilan. I’m really looking forward to skiing in Chile again,” he said.
Unquestionably, Miguel knows the sport of skiing. Azcarate originates from San Sebastian, Spain and has skied throughout Europe and North and South America. He took a liking to ski racing at a young age in the western Pyrenees Mountains and started racing extensively throughout Europe. Through skiing and the love of travel, Azcarate made his way to Ellicottville, and has called it home for the last 30 years.