Minnesota girl Paula Moltzan made the move to Colorado's famed Ski and Snowboard Club Vail from her roots at Buck Hill in August of 2010. Little did she know at that point, she'd become the first American woman to win a slalom gold at Junior World Championships.
Moltzan made the big leap to the World Cup circuit during the 2015 season, and though she had glimpses of brilliance, it proved to be difficult for her to put two runs together. The one-month break for the World Cup tech skiers enabled Moltzan to travel on the Europa Cup circuit and ski some FIS races that helped her to regain confidence and at World Championships, she snagged her first top 30 result, landing in 20th in slalom in front of a big crowd full of family and friends. From there, Moltzan took the momentum to Junior Worlds and became the first American woman to win a slalom gold. She capped the season off with two second place finishes at U.S. Alpine Championships in Sugarloaf, ME.
Moltzan enrolled in the University of Vermont in 2017, and made an immediate impact on the Cats' ski team roster. During her freshman year, she became only the fifth UVM female to win the NCAA slalom title and the first freshman to do so since 1986. During her UVM tenure, she was also a two-time NCAA First Team All-American and was on the National Collegiate All-Academic Team in 2017. Moltzan rejoined the World Cup tour in 2018, starting in front of a home crowd at Killington, Vermont, landing in 17th in slalom. The slalom specialist went on to snag her first top 15 in Courchevel, France in December, then 12th in Flachau, Austria - with the second-fastest second run - and 16th in Maribor, Slovenia. She also made her second World Championship team, and landed in 18th in the slalom in Åre, Sweden.
With Moltzan's stellar 2018-19 performance, she has once again made U.S. Ski Team criteria for the B Team for the 2019-20 season.
“My Mom started me skiing early. I would tag along with her while she was giving other young kids skiing lessons at Buck Hill. By age five I was eager to join Buck’s Development Team. I’m very competitive and had lots of fun winning D-Team races on the weekends at Buck Hill and other local slopes. I think I started dreaming about becoming an Olympic ski racer after wining NASTAR Nationals in Park City and meeting all of the U.S. Ski team members that were setting pace times and hanging with all the athletes.
When I was 11 years old I joined the Buck Hill Ski Racing Club, where the world-renowned coach Erich Sailer instilled his passion for ski racing in me. He taught me how to train hard while riding the rope-tow almost every night. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times he told me that I was ‘skiing to slow and that I needed to go faster if I wanted to win.’ Because of Erich, I had great success as a J4 and J3 racer winning Medals at the USSA Junior Olympics, Canada’s Whistler Cup, and Italy’s Topolino Cup.
When I turned 16, I moved to Colorado with my dad to train with Ski and Snowboard Club Vail. While at Vail, coach Dan Strip helped me polish my technical and speed racing techniques. Within the year, just after my 17th birthday, I was invited to the U.S. Ski team.“
- Buck Hill Ski Team/Ski and Snowboard Club Vail
- University of Vermont
- University of Vermont
- Years on Team: 1
Teams: 2015, 2019
18th, SL, Are, SWE, 2019
20th, SL, Vail/Beaver Creek, USA, 2015
16th, SL, Maribor, SLO, 2019
12th, SL, Flachau, AUT, 2019 - second-fastest second run
First top 15 (15th), Courchevel, FRA, 2018 - fourth-fastest second run
17th, SL, Killington, Vermont, USA, 2018
First World Cup points, Flachau, AUT, 2016
First World Cup start, Aspen Winternational, 2013
NCAA First Team All-American, SL, 2017, 2018
NCAA Individual National Champion, SL, 2017
NCAA First Team All-American, GS, 2018
EISA All-East First Team, 2017, 2018
EISA Rookie of the Year, 2017
National Collegiate All-Academic Team, 2017
JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
1st, SL, Junior World Championships, Hafjell, NOR, 2015 - 1st American woman to win in Slalom
4th, SL, Junior World Championships, Jasna, SVK, 2014
6th, GS, Junior World Championships, Jasna, SVK, 2014
U.S. ALPINE CHAMPIONSHIPS
2nd, SL, Waterville Valley, N.H. 2019
2nd, PS, Waterville Valley, N.H. 2019
2nd, GS, U.S. Alpine Championships, Sugarloaf, ME, 2015
2nd, SL, U.S. Alpine Championships, Sugarloaf, ME, 2015
2nd, SG, U.S. Championships among juniors, 2013