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Holderness Skier Competes for Jamaica in World Junior Olympics
Greg Kwasnik

Holderness School enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a skiing powerhouse, having produced 17 Olympians and 38 National Team members in its history. This month, Henniyah Rivers ’25 added to that reputation by competing in slalom and giant slalom for Jamaica at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Gangwon, South Korea.
 
In doing so, she became the first-ever female alpine skier to compete for Jamaica in an international competition.
 
“We basically grew up in Jamaica,” said Henniyah, whose mother was born on the island. “I wasn't born there, but we still go every summer. And we try to go as much as possible because our relatives are still there. They were really happy that I represented for them.”
 
Henniyah and her brother Henri Rivers IV both represented Jamaica at the games. Henri, who attends Stratton Mountain School, competed in slalom and giant slalom and was one of two flag bearers for Jamaica. Henri, Henniyah, and their sister Helaina ’25 are triplets who compete with the backing of the National Brotherhood of Snowsports (NBS) an organization whose mission is to identify, support, and develop athletes of color and increase diversity and inclusion in winter sports. Henniyah’s father, Henri Rivers III, is president of the NBS.
 
In 2021, Henniyah – along with her sister Helaina, brother Henri, and fellow Holderness skier Jayna Davis ’25, appeared in a segment about the NBS in the Warren Miller film Winter Starts Now. When the film came out that year, more than 300 Holderness students and faculty watched it together at a theater in downtown Plymouth, NH. “The whole school watched it at The Flying Monkey theater. Everyone was so supportive and they loved the film, even though we were only in it for a short time,” Henniyah said. “They just heard our story and they learned more about NBS.”
 
Thanks to that moment in the spotlight – and her experience skiing at a highly competitive level for Holderness – Henniyah wasn’t too nervous when she competed at the Winter Youth Olympic Games. As a member of Holderness School’s Alpine Skiing Eastern U18 team, she’s used to a high level of competition. “Holderness helped the races feel normal,” said Henniyah, who finished 39th in the giant slalom. “It just felt like a normal race at school – just with more competition.”
 
As a high school junior, Henniyah is turning her attention to college, where she says academics will be her main focus. Still, she hopes to continue skiing at the collegiate level – and to continue representing Jamaica in international competitions. Ultimately, though, she hopes to continue to be a role model for other aspiring athletes. 
 
“I feel like this is just the beginning and I will continue to represent Jamaica, and hopefully go to the Olympics,” Henniyah said. “My ultimate goal is to compete so younger kids of color, if they want to ski or do any winter sport, can be motivated to keep going.” 

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