OLYMPICS

Park City’s Winter Vinecki raises awareness for prostate cancer

Feb 14, 2022, 7:12 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 4:27 pm
Winter Vinecki of Team United States reacts during the Women's Freestyle Skiing Aerials Qualificati...
Winter Vinecki of Team United States reacts during the Women's Freestyle Skiing Aerials Qualification on Day 10 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Genting Snow Park on February 14, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

ZHANGJIAKOU, China — Freestyle aerialist skier Winter Vinecki moved to Park City when she was 13 years old to start skiing, four years after her dad passed away from prostate cancer. 

Vinecki had already broken world records by the time she was in her early teens, but not in skiing. She was the first teen to ever run marathons on all seven continents.  

She said her parents were always a huge support, and since her dad died, she said her mom has become the person she looks up to the most.  

Now, she competes for a greater cause, a cause for which she’s been able to raise more than $500,000. 

“It feels so much better when you cross that finish, that competition, knowing you aren’t just doing it for yourself. That there’s something else you’re standing for and something bigger than just you,” the 22-year-old told KSL before she left for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Winter Vinecki and her father who died from prostate cancer. (Used by permission, Vinecki family) Winter running with her mother who she calls her biggest inspiration. (Used by permission, Vinecki family) Winter set a record as  the first teen to ever run marathons on all seven continents before she competed as a skier in her first Olympics. (Used by permission Vinecki family)

That reason, she said, is her father who passed away 13 years ago. “When I was nine my dad was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of prostate cancer. And the day he was diagnosed, I knew I wanted to do something to help him and all the men affected by prostate cancer.” 

At nine years old, she got men talking about the disease.  

Fast forward 13-years and Vinecki is taking on the best freestyle aerial skiers in the world, with a tight-knit family and a mom who is her biggest inspiration. 

“She’s really just been an amazing role model for us kids, and just really led by example, you know. She, she never just like, told us that we needed to do something. She would always lead by example, and not just say what we needed to do,” Vinecki explained. “She would show us and just really show us the meaning of hard work and, and putting your best effort into everything.”  

She offered advice to girls watching these Olympic games and hoping it’s them one day on the slopes. “First of all, just dream big and never let age, gender, race be a barrier. And at the end of the day, you have to work hard, but also have confidence in yourself along the way.” 

She just graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in business administration and a minor in nutrition. 

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Park City’s Winter Vinecki raises awareness for prostate cancer