By Grant Johnson
Photo copyright Steven Kornreich
Steamboat Springs, CO -
Q. What are some of your favorite runs in Steamboat?
A. Of course, Voodoo. It’s home to the mogul course that I have trained on for the past 10 years. I remember being a senior in high school (my first year in Steamboat) and training underneath bluebird skies every day and thinking, “This is paradise.” On a powder day, I love skiing the Chutes.
Q. Do you have a signature article of clothing you wear when competing?
A. Columbia provides us with our outerwear and base layers, so I’m always outfitted in that, but I don’t have a pair of socks or underwear that I wear every time – I’m not superstitious like that.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A. My father, Bob, always told me to do what I’m passionate about.
Q. How do you like to relax?
A. When the season is over I usually like to relax by going to the beach somewhere. For years I went to Florida in the spring to spend time with family and get my beach kick. I also was lucky enough to visit Hawaii last spring with a group of friends. Last spring, however, I simply didn’t want to travel anywhere. I wanted to stay home. And that’s exactly what I did. I stayed in Colorado and skinned up the mountain a ton in April and got a lot of great spring skiing in, followed by a lot of great biking in May. I love sports in general so I spend a lot time doing them outside of skiing. Being that golf is less physical, I love walking nine holes in the evening during the summer, after a day of training. I get that from my mother who always makes time to get out and walk nine holes, no matter how busy her day is. At home I like to relax by making good meals, watching a movie, reading a book, and/or listening to a TED talk. And, of course, who doesn’t love hitting up Freshie’s or Winona’s for breakfast on a free morning?
Q. Do you have any superstitions?
A. Nope. I would never want to think my skiing is based on anything other than training and hard work and holding myself accountable for my own results, good or bad. Nothing against superstitions, I just don’t have them.
Q. When did you realize you wanted to make a career out of
A. Not until I was older. I watched the Olympics when I was a kid and I thought it was cool, but I didn’t think “I want to go to the Olympics.” The only thing I thought was, “I want to ski.” And the older I got, that thought grew into thinking about the Olympics.
Q. What’s your favorite career moment so far?
A. The 2013 Deer Valley World Cup. While it was not my best result of the season (I finished third.), it was the most memorable. First, my entire family (I’m the youngest of four.) was there to watch. Second, I swept the podium with teammates Hannah Kearney and Heather Mcphie, which was the second podium sweep in World Cup history for U.S. women. And lastly, getting a podium at the best World Cup venue in the world was an incredible feeling. I laid down three great runs on a difficult course to get that podium and I felt it really represented all the training I had done to get there – physical, skillful and mental.
Q. If you weren’t a professional athlete, what would you want
A. A professional athlete.
Q. Were you always athletic?
A. My whole life I have been athletic. When I was a little girl, my dad used to take me out on the tennis court with a blue bucket full of tennis balls and bribe me with ice cream cones to see how many balls we could hit back and forth. I fully blame him for my current love of soft-serve ice cream. Both my parents were always playing tennis and golf and, of course, in the winter every Friday we drove the 2 hours and 45 minutes to Mount Snow, Vermont, to ski. I was a lucky kid. My mother used to take me to swim lessons in the winter. To her, it was a safety issue that I be a good swimmer. I did everything from gymnastics to soccer, tennis, golf, and even basketball in middle school. The tennis and golf are the two biggest that stuck with me in my adult life. I love them. Ever since I moved west to Colorado to go to Lowell Whiteman for my senior year of high school, the sports have only increased. Mountain life has introduced me to mountain biking, road biking and hiking; three things I did not grow up with back East. Sports will always be a part of my life. There is nothing I love more.
Q. How do you train during the summer?
A. For the past two summers I have been training in Park City. I train three days a week on the water ramps where we practice our jumps into a pool, and six days a week in the gym, sometimes twice a day. Our workouts consist of strength, core, track and biking. We also do things like take plunges into 50-degree ice baths for recovery. I have grown to love being in the gym, ice bath included. Our on-snow camps begin in late July.
Q. What’s your favorite Smartphone app?
A. I’m not sure I have a favorite, but I have a few that I use a lot – the Weather Channel app, because I spend a lot of time outside; the Facebook app to keep up with friends and family; and the CNN app so my brain doesn’t go to mush.
Q. Do you prefer small towns or big cities?
A. I prefer small towns with access to big cities, but not too small of a town. I love Steamboat, but that’s as small as it gets for me.
Q. Where did you go to college?
A. I went to Colorado College and majored in economics. I graduated in December 2010. It took me a mere seven years, because I was competing the whole time, but I’m glad to have a great education under my belt.