Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Audi of America
Returning to work post-baby is one thing. It's quite another when you're the top-ranked giant slalom skier in the U.S. (with Olympic training season around the corner). But that's exactly the challenge 30-year-old Sarah Schleper faced after the birth of her son, Lasse.
Schleper is one of the skiers featured in the new Audi-sponsored NBC documentary, Truth in Motion: The U.S. Ski Team's Road to Vancouver airing Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. From over 400 hours of footage, the filmmakers crafted a one-hour special about the daily lives of top-tier athletes and captured a select few preparing for the 2010 Winter Olympics. But Schleper's story, both relatable and extraordinary, is the standout.
Sidelined by injury after the '06 Olympics in Turin, the athlete took time off to recover in Mexico; next, she met and married Mexican native Federico Gaxiola. Yearning for a baby, she spent even more time away from the slopes. When the film opens, the new mom has begun training for her skiing comeback, but hasn't yet earned a spot on the Olympic team. The cameras record her grueling preparations, and her determination to win is inspiring. Schleper's also seen bringing her toddler to competitions, cuddling him between events, and playing with him after a long day on the slopes. Skiing and parenting fit hand in hand for this pretty, 5' 4" blond with the stamina of a Navy seal.
About this mom's depiction in the film as a tough Olympic hopeful, Schleper recently said in an interview with her hometown newspaper, "It's going to show all the elements people really don't know about ski racing, showing the risks that we're taking."
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