Alumni Spotlight: Eliot Neal

Eliot Neal

Age: 30

Discipline with JHSC: Nordic

How old were you when you joined JHSC? I joined in sixth grade, so I was 11 or 12. 


How long were you a part of JHSC? I was a part of JHSC through senior year of high school, and came back to train in the summer for a couple years after that.  So 8 or 9 years! 


In three sentences or less, explain your entire experience with the club. I got to spend time with an incredible group of people, travel across the country, and really dedicate myself to my sport.  JHSC is responsible for some of my best lifelong friends and formative experiences. 

If you were to do it all over again, what would you do differently? I would probably spend more time appreciating the moment and my coaches and all the people who helped me succeed with JHSC and beyond.  I definitely took it for granted at the time. 


What was the most fun part of being with the club? It is very hard to pick the most fun part of being with JHSC, but I might say the Thanksgiving training trips to West Yellowstone.  


What do you do now? I am a lawyer at a large firm doing business litigation out of Palo Alto, California. 


How does your experience with JHSC affect you today, if at all? The biggest thing is probably the friendships I developed.  Skiers from both Jackson and other towns throughout the intermountain region are some of my closest friends to this day, and that is thanks to JHSC. 

What skills did you learn while competing that apply to life outside of the club? JHSC and Nordic racing in general taught me the value of hard work and preparation.  Nordic racers are made in the summer, but it can be so hard to imagine standing on a start line in January when you’re sweating it out in June.  So learning that sometimes you have to just put your head down and work, even when you won’t see the results of that work for a long time, has served me well throughout my life. 


What is your all-time favorite memory of JHSC? It is impossible to pick just one.  But I have so many great memories of spending time with my brother Willie training and racing with JHSC.  I really cherish all the things I got to do with him through our time with the Club. 

If you knew a kid that was thinking about becoming a part of the club, why do you think should they join? It is a great way to be a part of an incredible community, you will make lifelong friends, and you will feel good about taking your sport seriously and really seeing how far you can go with it.