Steamboat Springs Lisa Perricone wasn't quite sure what to expect from the Winter World University Games in Torino, Italy.
Perricone, a 2003 Steamboat Springs High School graduate and sophomore at the University of Colorado, has skied on the international scene before.
But what she encountered in Italy was something she said she would never forget.
Along with a torch that had been run across Italy and a full opening ceremony, Perricone said everywhere she and her teammates went they were accompanied with heavy police escorts.
"It was the coolest trip I've ever been on," she said. "It was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. I've been to other world races but this is the most interactive it's been with other teams."
Along with fellow Steamboat graduate and teammate at Colorado Drew Roberts, Perricone competed in the slalom, giant slalom and super G after the downhill was canceled.
Both skiers were at somewhat of a disadvantage because to compete in the Games for the U.S. team, they had to be full-time students, while teams from Europe had skiers that had completed just one class.
Still Perricone finished 10th in Wednesday's super G to place ninth overall in combined points. Roberts placed 35th in the super G, but his 18th-place finish in the slalom helped him to a 12th-place finish in the combined points.
"It was good but it wasn't a standout performance," she said.
Despite missing two weeks of school, and being unable to train with her team, Perricone said the trip was completely worthwhile.
She didn't miss a collegiate event and said the level of competition readied her for the upcoming season at Colorado.
Because the race was sure to happen and Europe has been experiencing little snow, Perricone said the competition level was at a premium, featuring World Cup level skiers and skiers who hadn't competed in years.
"It was a reality check to see how intense the sport really is," she said. "It's a different mentality over there. You either win or you don't finish.