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Since 1970, BMA has championed ski racers chasing greatness.

In 1970, a young ski racer named Martha Coughlin '71 approached coach Warren Witherell seeking year-round training to help her achieve her dream of being named to the U.S. Ski Team.

Witherell quickly agreed, and Burke Mountain Academy was born. The school was the first ski academy of its kind in the United States and established the model which all others would follow. 

More than 50 years later, BMA remains true to the ethos established at its inception and has remained focused on alpine ski racing. Enrolling no more than 70 students annually, the Burke philosophy emphasizes developing the whole individual — as a student, an athlete, and a person of character. BMA believes this approach is the cornerstone to success both at Burke and in life beyond high school and ski racing.

Today, Burke is the leading ski racing academy in the United States, partnering with the U.S. Ski Team, and having produced numerous national team members and Olympians along the way. Our alumni include:

  • 2014 & 2018 Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin
  • 118 U.S. Ski Team members
  • 144 national team athletes
  • 36 Olympians
  • 5 alumni competitors at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games
  • 6 alumni competitors at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games


To learn more about the history of BMA, read the Sports Illustrated's 1978 feature It's All Downhill From Here on the school. While we've come a long way since then, we are proud of our roots and how it all began.