Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

National champion ski team visits White House

skiers with Obama

Members of the DU ski team meet President Barack Obama on Sept. 13. Photo: Lauren Eder

DU’s national championship ski team visited the White House Sept.  13for NCAA Champions Day.

“Winning the NCAA championship and having the president invite the team to the White House is an honor that everybody on this team will always remember,” Nordic head coach Dave Stewart says. “It is a true honor to be recognized by the president for the team’s accomplishments and to represent the University of Denver at our nation’s capital.”

President Obama welcomed to the White House more than 650 student athletes and 150 coaches and staff members from 32 schools across the nation. Gathering on the White House south lawn, the president offered his congratulations on their 2009–10 Division I NCAA championships. Teams from various sports lined up to participate in this tradition, which was started by the previous administration.

In addition to congratulating them on their athletic achievements, President Obama acknowledged the athletes’ scholastic accomplishments, underscoring their ability to make the grades, as well as the goals, and lend credence to the term “student-athlete.” 

The president also acknowledged the teams’ incredible work to organize blood drives, cook for families of sick children, and build houses for the homeless. One young man even donated bone marrow to a little girl he had never met. As he said, “Saving someone’s life is a lot more important than a football game.”

As role models and volunteers, these athletes contribute in countless ways to the world around them. And that makes them, as the president pointed out, truly champions.   

The Pioneers captured their third-straight national skiing title at the 2010 NCAA championships, their 21st overall—the most in NCAA history.

Combined with DU hockey’s seven national titles, the Pioneers have 28 team national championships, the eighth most in NCAA history behind Southern California (76), UCLA (71), Stanford (60), Oklahoma State (48), Arkansas (43), Michigan (31), and Penn State (30).

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