Alumni Spotlight: Michael Testa

Michael Testa is the esteemed Vice Chair of Team Midwest, second only to our fearless leader, Christy.  Below I check in with “Fiesta Testa” himself.

What collegiate ski team were you on?

Marquette University Golden Eagles (AKA: The Ultimate Birds of Prey)

Any nicknames?

Fiesta Testa, Uncle Mike

What is your favorite event?

Jump!

What is your favorite tournament?

Summer Shakedown, no doubt!

How would you describe your ski team experience?

I didn’t know about 3-Event skiing before I got to college. Before I knew it, I was enamored with the sport, and I had fallen in love with it and all of the people involved. I would not be nearly the same person I am today if it weren’t for collegiate skiing (for better or for worse, we are all unsure).

What are you doing now?

When I’m not skiing, I work full-time, although I ski so much, my friends think it’s only part-time. I work in property and project management for Wangard Partners, a Real Estate Investment, Development, and Management firm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin!

What stands out when you think about your college skiing career?

All of the friends I’ve made! Every time I travel somewhere, I realize that I know at least 2-3 people in that city because of collegiate skiing. It’s really cool to have such a wide ranging group of people that I can call my family.

What is your favorite memory?

My reign of terror as president of Marquette’s ski team:

  • We ran our first 2 tournaments ever
  • We hosted WC for the first time
  • I spent the summer working at Coble Ski School with my best friend.
  • We made our 2nd best ever run towards Nationals and missed a bid by 80pts.

Any advice for current skiers?

Take it in and enjoy it while you can. It’s over before you know it, and you’ll regret every tournament you missed once you don’t have the chance anymore. You get out of the experience what you put into it: you can use it as a weekend getaway or a lifestyle, it’s up to you! (However, I certainly recommend the latter!!)

How can we get more college kids involved in the sport?

Lower barriers to entry. I’ve been saying this for years. College kids have no money!

It’s tough to get new kids out when they show up your first team meeting with people they don’t know, who are heading to a place they’ve never been, to participate in a sport they’ve likely never done before, and are then asked to pay dues, a tournament fee, and buy insurance all in one night. It’s a big investment for an 18yr old, and they have no idea how worth it the tournament scene actually is. At Marquette, we didn’t make dues due until the second tournament so they didn’t have to pay dues if they didn’t like it (they ALWAYS came back), and we let newbies have a discount on their first tournament. This helped a lot, and we had a few great recruiting years. I’ve always thought that a “Trial Membership” from USAWS would be an awesome idea. $8-10 for a weekend of coverage, then you could go to a full membership afterwards if you liked it

Want to be an Alumni Spotlight volunteer?

We’d love to hear from you! To volunteer as tribute for an Alumni Spotlight, email alumni@ncwsa.com!

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