Murphy's Law meets the Olympic dream in this spirited account of the challenges, misadventures and injuries that beset the US Ski Team in one year leading up to the 1988 Olympic Games. Not-so-brave rookie downhill racer Olivia Sharp and her band of strong-willed yet woefully inexperienced teammates vie for coveted Olympic team spots while coping with a coach who wishes he could trade them all in. More
Ever since she was nine years old, and watched Franz Klammer rocket to glory on skis in the 1976 Olympics, Olivia Sharp has been seduced by speed, and the dream of Wheaties Box greatness that will surely make her “set for life.” As far flung as that goal seemed even three years earlier, while watching the Olympics from a hospital bed high on morphine and low on hope, now, as she arrives at the 1987 World Championships and the story begins, it seems like a possibility.
Shut Up and Ski is a fictionalized account of the US Ski Team's slippery slope to the 1988 Olympic Games, from the perspective of sporadically confident, terminally boyfriendless Olivia Sharp.
This make or break year takes Olivia and her teammates from Mt. Hood's snowcapped cindercone, to a searing hot stadium in Utah, from icicle-filled vans to plush corporate jets, from steep chutes in the Andes to icy glaciers in Switzerland and finally to a wind-scoured trailer park outside of Calgary.
Even more challenging for the rookies than staying intact while hurtling themselves downhill at 75 mph on two thin boards, is coping with their coach Ken, who wishes he could trade them all in for skinnier, younger ubergirls who would just “shut up and ski.”
Their individual quests for a coveted spot on the Olympic team play out within a team dynamic that forces rivalries, personality conflicts and true character to the surface. With a steady supply of humor to temper mortal fear and intense pressure, the teammates turn to each other and learn that true success has nothing to do with gold medals.