Incline Village skier dreams of Olympics |

Incline Village skier dreams of Olympics


INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Lila Lapanja was born in Truckee during a snowstorm.

She grew up in Incline Village and has competed for Diamond Peak and Sugar Bowl’s ski teams before becoming the youngest person in the U.S. Women’s Ski Team in 2011 at the age of 16.

Now she’s trying to independently make it to the Olympics with the help of a local business owner and ski instructor.

Lapanja competed for the U.S. for six years before being dropped from the team. However, that didn’t stop her from dreaming of going to the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

Mark Jarvis, a local ski instructor and owner of Tahoe Ski Girls, met Lapanja last year and decided to help her pursue her Olympic dreams.

“She is an extremely kind lady with an icy, gritty personality and drive,” said Jarvis.

Lila Lapanja is trying to independently make it to the Olympics with the help of a local business owner and ski instructor.

In order to represent the U.S. at the Olympics, she needs to compete and win a certain number of points. She needs financial help to get to those competitions all around the world.

Tahoe Ski Girls designed “TEAM LILA” T-shirts and hats. They are selling for $30 each and all proceeds go directly to Lapanja. The first 100 purchases also received a card signed by Lapanja.

Lapanja has had her share of setbacks. An injury in 2015 kept her from competing for 18 months. In August, she crashed her mountain bike and broke her leg. Just three months after breaking her leg, she won first place for Women’s Slalom at the Nor-Am Cup in Copper Mountain, Colorado.

She is also currently the reigning U.S. Giant Slalom champion as well as the Women’s Alpine Combined champion. Jarvis feels her chances of getting to the Olympics are very good.

Lapanja is currently in Canada for a race.

“Getting to the Winter Olympics would be a dream come true, but it is a tough journey and I am putting 100% of myself into it,” she said in a statement. “I want to represent the whole of Lake Tahoe and by buying a TEAM LILA hat or T-shirt, you help support my dream enormously. It would be an extra boost to my confidence to know that there are people all over Tahoe glued to their TVs with their TEAM LILA gear cheering me on.”

Learn more at

Laney Griffo is a staff writer for the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication of The Union. She can be reached at

The hat and T-shirts being sold to raise funds.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User