Who is... Andy Newell?
Claiming to have visited the ER five times before his fifth birthday, it’s no surprise Andy Newell has made a career out of defying the preconceived limits of cross-country skiing.
Born in Vermont, Andy Newell was on skis as soon as he could walk. When he was five, he started racing in Bill Koch league cross-country skiing events. By the time he was 17, he was competing in Europe at the international level.
Prior to the advent of YouTube, Newell and his friends at Stratton Mountain School launched a film production company when they were high school seniors and produced three full-length features – Generation X-Ski (2002), American Skier (2004) and A Day in the Life (2008). The goal was to show cross-country skiing could have its own extreme edge, despite its historically tranquil reputation.
"I've spent a lot of time in the air on my cross-country skis... [My classmates at Stratton] had their boards and alpine skis and I had my cross-country gear and we'd go out and hit the half pipe."
Since making his World Cup debut in 2004, Newell has won one silver and two bronze sprint medals. His best World Cup ranking came after the 2009-10 season when he finished fourth in the world in the sprint standings.
He has skied in eight world championships, posting his best finish in 2007 – fifth in his signature sprint event. In 2015, Newell, along with U.S. teammate Simi Hamilton, posted a top 10 world championship finish when they came in seventh in the team sprint.
Although he has won just three World Cup medals over the course of his career, Newell finds pride in how the U.S. cross-country ski team has continued to make strides toward becoming medal contenders on the World Cup and at Olympic Games during his tenure, which first started in 2002.
Newell made his Olympic debut at the 2006 Torino Olympic Winter Games, appearing in each subsequent Olympics for the U.S. cross-country team.
Entering the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Newell was a legitimate medal contender in the sprint. An icy course would ruin Newell’s chances at a medal when he crashed during his qualifying time trial, a mistake which would keep him from advancing to the quarterfinal heats.
Five days later in Whistler, British Columbia, he raced to his best Olympic finish ever, coming in ninth in the team sprint with teammate Torin Koos.
At the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Newell reached the quarterfinals of the sprint winding up in 18th. Also appearing in the relay for Team USA’s men, Newell skied the opening leg in a race where the U.S. finished in 11th.
On June 26, 2017, Newell married his Stratton Mountain School SMS/T2 elite cross-country club teammate, Erika Flowers, but tying the knot would not mean being tied down for this happy couple.
In an interview with FasterSkier.com, Newell and Flowers explain their plan for married life would be one full of adventure. Always on the hunt for new experiences, the couple has been known to grab surfboards at the beach, with Newell serving as surf instructor in an attempt to help Flowers catch a wave.
The tables turn when they visit her home state of Montana. There, Flowers becomes the expert, helping Newell improve his technique with a fly rod.