On Wednesday May 20th, 2020 over 220 Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS) students, staff, and alumni honored their 32 student member Class of 2020 with a unique athletic challenge. The goal, as a collective virtual community, was to sweat through 2020 miles and 53,000 vertical feet, in honor of the current year and a May 30th, 2020 graduation date. Participants were encouraged to bike, run, or hike as far and as high as possible.

GMVS, an elite ski racing academy, attracts students from countries near and far, so with students, staff, and alumni spanning the globe, Strava, an online fitness tracking app, was used to capture data for the one day challenge. The GMVS community rose to the occasion in full force, crushing their goal, logging over 3000 miles, over 200,000 feet in elevation, and 250 hours of physical effort.

“Spring is such a special time for the GMVS community, rich with so many positive traditions and emotions that we sadly are missing out on this year. The biking, hiking and running that our students, staff–and even a handful of alums–accomplished yesterday in tribute to the class of 2020 speaks to the great competitive spirit and community minded nature of our people.,” notes Steve Utter, Alpine Program Director

Top contributors logged over 50 miles each and included Colin Rodgers, Nordic Program Director, at 132 miles, and 12,351 feet! In Colin’s words, “I wanted to show my support for the class of 2020 by leaving a bit of GRIT out there yesterday! I started the ride with some seniors and was thinking I was just going to ride the local 4 Gaps- App, Lincoln, Middlebury, Brandon. Then as I was riding, I started to think about how cool it would be to make it extra meaningful and tack on the last two — Roxbury and Moretown. Needless to say, I finished in the dark. It was a ride I will never forget. Here’s to TK, Carl, Tanner, Charlie and Gavin and to all of the others in the GMVS Class of 2020 that I have been fortunate to spend time with. Words of advice- Leave it all out there!”

The challenge came in response to the impact that COVID-19 has had on the graduating Class of 2020. When the pandemic hit in mid-March, GMVS students and staff shifted in-person classes and athletic endeavors online. The senior class missed out on their long awaited spring together, and won’t have an opportunity to experience a traditional in person commencement ceremony. The virtual athletic challenge was one of many ways the GMVS community is working to ensure the Class of 2020 is celebrated in special, yet unique ways adapted to today’s socially distant world.

Top 5 Individual Contributions:
1. Colin Rodgers, Nordic Program Director: 132.61 mi, 12,351 ft, 8:46:30
2. Sofija Novoselic, U16 Girls’ Coach: 77.93 mi, 2,547 ft, 4:51:39
3. Cristian Riis, Class of 2020: 67.42 mi, 5,648 ft, 4:41:22
4. Charlotte Brown, Class of 2020: 65.1 mi, 2,080 ft, 4:53:45
5. Trey Jones, Class of 2023: 56.1 mi, 5,576 ft, 3:40:00