On the surface, Chloe Levins is a young, up-and-coming cross-country skier. However, under the layers of Gore-Tex and Under Armour is a deeper story, rooted in passion for athletics and lifetime sports in the heart of Vermont.
I met Chloe one wintry night at the Pittsfield General Store and quickly realized she wasn’t a typical eighth grader. Raised in Rutland, Chloe is a quiet, 13-year-old blonde with bright blue eyes. Underneath her calm demeanor is a girl with a love for adventure. Chloe has embraced many of the outdoor opportunities the Green Mountain State has to offer. Skiing, biking, soccer, golf, hiking, and “paintballing” are among the many activities Chloe participates in year-round with her family and friends. Maintaining friendships and building communities through sports are what make athletics special for Chloe.
“From my earliest years, I was involved in athletics. Whether it was being pushed in a jog stroller, walking 18 holes of golf, or being towed on my cross-country skis to keep up with my older brothers and sister, I never seemed to mind the heat or the cold. I was outside everyday for as long as I could be. My mom describes it as my ‘outdoor preschool.’ I think being outside and active just became a habit that I continue to enjoy.”
With a supportive and on-the-go family, Chloe has grown up with fantastic role models. Mary Anne, Chloe’s mother, was a professional golfer and is now an active member and leader in the Rutland community. Her father, Jim, who graduated from Middlebury College, was an Alpine skier. Surrounded by a trio of siblings, Jimmy (22, who skied and played golf for Middlebury), Keely (21, a junior Nordic skier and on the golf team for Middlebury), and Augie (16, an avid mountain biker and dedicated trail volunteer at Rutland’s Pine Hill Park), Chloe’s love for sports has always been supported by her family. “When I go to watch my older brother and sister race, I am kind of like their cheerleader.” Chloe says, which strengthens their strong support system. Considering her background, it’s no surprise Chloe is deeply rooted in athletics.
In addition to being athletic, the Levins family is deeply invested in the community through their love of sports. They co-founded the Mountain Top Resort Annual Paintball Biathlon in Chittenden as well as the Lunar Quarry mountain bike relay in Rutland’s Pine Hill Park.
The Lunar Quarry is a 12-hour-long mountain bike relay that takes place at night. The center stage is a looping track in the quarry where participants gather to set up camp, enjoy live music, watch movies projected onto the quarry wall, eat wood-fired pizza (baked in a volunteer-built pizza oven), race mountain bikes, and shoot paintballs. Riding with a team, Chloe biked and shot for 12 hours, never even bothering to dismount when it was time to shoot. She loved every minute of it. This year’s event proceeds benefited the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund to aid families devastated by Tropical Storm Irene.
Following perhaps a more traditional path, Chloe has also learned valuable life and leadership skills from the Bill Koch Nordic Ski League, which she participates in after school.
“The Bill Koch League really tries to instill a love of the sport and also introduce kids to the racing aspect of the sport,” she says.
When she’s not skiing, Chloe is going for a quick bike ride, playing on her soccer team, golfing, or running. In order to stay healthy, Chloe mentioned that a balanced diet is key to her physical aptitude. “I love protein, chicken, or anything grilled,” Chloe says. With a regular training routine, she focuses on specific strength exercises to keep her entire body in shape. “I have learned to make my workout different everyday, and that I shouldn’t go too hard.” When she isn’t training, Chloe is at camps, on ski trips, or participating at community events.
“Chloe has really developed a wonderful base of love of sport,” from her community, friends, and family, says her mother, Mary Anne. “There is a whole process of learning to ski with purpose and to understand my body and the level that I can perform at.”
Skiing has also helped Chloe to maintain long-lasting friendships, “It’s so nice to be able to go out with friends and have adventures in the woods,” Chloe says.
As for the future, Chloe isn’t sure if she plans to ski professionally, but she is going to ski in high school. No matter what Chloe chooses, her love for sports and the outdoors is certain to lead to many more opportunities.