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UVM Public Health Student Competes in 2018 Winter Games

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Like most graduate students, Ida Sargent finds pursuing a master’s degree to be a juggling act. But Ida is not your typical student. She’s a member of the U.S. Ski Team who is competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

A student in the UVM Master of Public Health online program, Ida is a lifelong Vermonter, 2014 Olympian, and World Championship skier.

We talked to Ida about her Nordic racing career and why she wants to work in public health.

How did you become interested in this particular career path?

As an elite athlete, I am very grateful for my health. Sports has given me the opportunity to be fit and strong, and I believe that good health is one of the most basic rights in life. It scares me to see the rising levels of childhood obesity, and the physical and mental burdens that it places on young children. I’m involved with several non-profit organizations that use sports and physical activity to build confidence, self-esteem, community values, and healthy habits. This is mostly volunteer work, but it has given me the opportunity to share the values and building blocks of a healthy lifestyle, which I believe is key to our future.

As an Olympic athlete, how to manage to find time to go to school?

Online courses are my only option. I spend at least half the year on the road with training camps during the summer and fall. From November through March, I am traveling around the globe with the U.S. Ski Team and racing World Cups almost every weekend. I often will be in four or more countries in a single month, so being in an actual classroom would be impossible for me. While I have a busy schedule, it’s great to have some balance on the road and to take my brain off of skiing.

Why did you choose UVM?

I’m a Vermonter through and through, and it’s a place that I care about deeply. UVM offers such a strong Master of Public Health program. It’s great to connect with many professors, public health professionals, and students who also have strong ties to Vermont and our communities. These connections can help us all make a difference improving the health of our population.

More information about UVM’s Ida Sargent (courtesy of

Birthplace: Newport, Vt.

Hometown: Craftsbury, Vt.

High School: Burke Mountain Academy (Burke, Vt.) ’06

College: Dartmouth College ’11, Biology and Psychology

Team/Club: Craftsbury Green Racing Project

Olympic Experience

  • Two-time Olympian (2014, 2018)
  • Sochi 2014, 19th (sprint freestyle), 32nd (10K classic)

World Championship Experience

  • Most recent: 2017 – 24th (sprint freestyle), 43rd (10K classic)
  • Years of participation: 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017
  • Top finish: 24th – 2017 (sprint freestyle)

Personal: Daughter of David and Lindy Sargent…Has one brother, Eben, and one sister, Elsa…Started skiing as soon as she could walk…Aspires to be a physical therapist…Hobbies include running, practicing yoga, mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, reading and gardening.

Learn more about UVM’s Master of Public Health Program