February 20, 2016

Ashley Caldwell ’14 Wins Final Event and FIS World Cup in Women’s Aerials

Ashley Caldwell '14 raise the FIS World Cup. Photo/USSA / Greg Heuer
Ashley Caldwell '14 raises the FIS World Cup in Minsk, Belarus. Photo: USSA / Greg Heuer

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Feb. 20, 2016) SUNY Empire State College alumna Ashely Caldwell ’14 took home the FIS World Cup in women’s aerials on Saturday, Feb. 20, by winning the final event of the season in Minsk, Belarus.

Prior to the competition, Caldwell held a narrow 64-point lead ahead of Australia’s Danielle Scott in the competition to be world champion.

Caldwell successfully executed a back full-full-full jump on her way to victory.

“I went up and did a full, full, full after not training one the entire time we were here, so it was kind of a big deal,” said Caldwell in a release issued by the U.S. Ski Team. “The coaches told me I was going to be good, and I was."

“Congratulations to Ashley Caldwell for winning at Minsk and for her world championship season,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. “Ashley was an outstanding student at SUNY Empire and we are very proud to count her among our many outstanding alumni."

According to the U.S. Ski Team, she is one of the only women who completes triples on the World Cup circuit and Caldwell is fully aware that the risks she takes throwing triples may not always reap rewards. But her dedication and consistency this season paid off, according to the team's release.

“I’ve historically done really well on this site,” stated Caldwell in the release. “My first time here I got second place, last year I was first, and I won again this year. So, Belarus has been really nice to me. Winning the overall title is a huge career accomplishment that I’ve wanted since I started this sport. To finally have it come to fruition is incredible.”

About Ashley Caldwell

The 20-year-old native of Ashburn, Va. and a two-time member of the U.S. Olympic Team, completed her requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Business, Management and Economics, with a concentration in finance and a GPA of 3.8, in 2014.

Caldwell also was selected that year as a recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, the SUNY system’s most prestigious student honor.

She won her first-ever U.S. Freestyle Skiing National Championship in aerials at the 2014 USANA U.S. Freestyle Championships held in Park City, Utah.

At the 2014 Winter Olympic Games at Sochi and at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, she finished 10th in women’s aerials.

Caldwell was a competitive gymnast for 11 years before she watched Olympic skiing on TV and thought it would be “totally awesome” to try aerials. After only three years of training, Caldwell made the U.S. Ski Team at a selection event in the beginning of the 2010 season and then went on to an outstanding rookie season.

Later that year, at the age of 16, Caldwell claimed top 15 results in her first three World Cup competitions. She finished 10th at the Olympics and claimed a silver medal at the U.S. National Championships, a feat she repeated in 2011.

Then, in December of 2011 and again in 2012, Caldwell sustained serious injuries to both her right and left ACLs (anterior cruciate ligaments). Overcoming both injuries, she earned a silver medal in women’s aerials at the World Cup competition held Dec. 15, 2013 in Lake Beida, China, on her road to Sochi.

About SUNY Empire State College

Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system, educates more than 20,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 35 locations in the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels.

The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students’ average age is 40.

Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.

Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn.

Students have the opportunity to enroll five times during the year.

The college’s 77,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

The college was first established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977. Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

More information about the college is available at www.esc.edu.


Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications

518-587-2100, ext. 2918