As a way of introducing yourself, how would you describe your background in skiing? What's been your path and now as a WJC, where do you want to go?
I grew up with Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine as my playground. When you live in such a unique place like this going skiing is just what you do. My parents and older brother helped instill in me a passion for skiing at an early age. I would say my humble beginnings of ski racing was certainly grass roots, neither of my parents ski raced, and we just figured it out as we went. Having the fortunate opportunity to live right next to a mountain that had a ski academy made all the difference. I graduated valedictorian from Carrabassett Valley Academy (C.V.A) in 2013, upon which I took an athletic postgraduate year and qualified for the US Ski Team in the spring of 2014. My trajectory has been skyward ever since starting at C.V.A., with being surround by so many incredible resources and supportive people. Winning World Juniors last spring in Sweden really stood as a confirmation for all the hard work me and my team had put in to make it to that moment. Now that I have completed my junior career I am now at the bottom of the next, but final ladder to the top. I will be working towards securing myself a position on the full time World Cup tour within the next couple of years. After winning WJC I earned the the opportunity to race in my first World Cup at World Cup Finals in Aspen, CO. This gave me a taste of what the big show is like and now it’s time to put in the work and raise the level of my skiing in order to compete with the best in the world. To sum up my path, I would say it's always been about the skiing. I just love that feeling of gravity pulling you down the mountain on these two little wood sticks sliding on frozen water. A bit strange when you take a step back and look at it through this simpler lens, but it gives a sensation that does something magical.
What did this summer look like for you? How many times did you find snow and what were your goals?
This past summer was pretty full on with very little down time. Any moment we weren’t off skiing we were back in the gym at the Center of Excellence in Park City getting our bodies in tiptop shape. In early spring we did a ski training camp to Norway for a month, followed by another on snow trip in early July to the Les Duex Alpes glacier in France. We finished off the summer with a trip to New Zealand before returning to the gym for our final three week block before our season. The goals for the summer were to dial in the equipment set up on the new 30m GS ski, continue cementing in better technical skills in GS to help with my speed, and shed a few pounds of the winter coat to lighten up the frame for next season. Upon reflection of the summer I would say I was able to reach these goals and am really excited to see what will happen come winter.
What's upcoming? What does your schedule through the year's end look like?
Our focus for the upcoming season will be on the Europa Cup circuit. After competing in the early season NorAms we will head to Europe in mid December to follow the tour. The hope is that we will get to start in a few World Cups, but it comes down to how we are skiing. Then we will return from Europe in the beginning of February and finish out the rest of the season in North America with the completion of the NorAm tour and US Nationals.
Overall goals for this year?
First, to always find joy in the midst of the struggle. Secondly, to podium on the NorAm and Europa Cup level.
How do you stay sane with ski travel? What are key travel strategies? What do you bring along every trip?
At this point in my ski career being on the road is the new normal, I no longer feel the dread of travel. A couple of items I always have with me are a good book, and my Bose Quiet-comfort headphones. These noise canceling beasts allow you to block out the world and focus on what needs to get down, whether that means sleeping on an airplane next to a screaming child, getting a good workout in, or writing this very response. Another travel strategy that has proven very effective over the years is maintaining a routine no matter where you are. Things as simple as reading a book before bed, or getting a recovery workout in each day. A routine gives you continuity and rhythm, after all we are creatures of habit.
Do you tune your own stuff? What are your go-to tools / wax?
My first year on the ski team I tuned my own skis, but recently I've earned the opportunity to have a service man who takes good care of me. I've always really enjoyed tuning and still remain incredibly involved in what is being done to my skis each day. To choose one tool is really tough since you need all of them to do a good job, but one of my favorite pieces of tuning equipment is a nicely broken in brass brush, it can really bring a ski back to life and clean it out.
Any other insights you'd lend?
A personal mantra that I life my life by is that there is no silver bullet to success only a silver buckshot. It’s the sum of the parts that makes the masterpiece. No one thing will ever make you the greatest. But if you put in the time to refine all the different parts of who you are as a person and an athlete, then you can truly do something great.