Alaska's Gus Schumacher shares spotlight with Mikaela Shiffrin for athlete of the year honors

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage cross-country skier Gus Schumacher was awarded the Beck International Trophy given to U.S. Ski & Snowboard's top male and female athletes. The news of being awarded U.S. Ski & Snowboard's top honor is still sinking in for Anchorage’s Schumacher.

“Wow, I didn’t know how big it was until I realized Mikaela [Shiffrin] was the other recipient,” Schumacher told U.S. Ski and Snowboard.

He is the first junior skier to win the Beck International Trophy since cross country skier Bill Koch in 1975, who went on to win the United States’ first medal in cross-country skiing at the 1976 winter Olympics.

The 19-year-old had a historic performance at the Junior World Championships where he took the first individual gold by an American junior in the 10-kilometer classic. If that wasn’t enough, he anchored the U.S.’s second straight relay gold. The Service High School graduate is a staple in the Alaska ski community. He trains with longtime coach Jan Buron of Alaska Winter Stars program.

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