By Grant Johnson
Photo courtesy FIS/Oliver Kraus
Steamboat Springs, CO -
Q. What are some of your favorite runs in Steamboat?
A. If I’m out training or just having fun on my race boards, I think my two favorite runs would be Vagabond and Buddy’s Run. But, the best days to ride in Steamboat are, of course, the powder days. And, if I’m lucky enough to be in town when it dumps, my favorite areas to play around in are Morningside and Christmas Tree Bowl.
Q. How do you like to relax?
A. Either with a good book on a rainy day, or a long walk on an empty beach.
Q. What’s your favorite place to train (other than Steamboat)?
A. There really isn’t any other training hill in the world that can match the quality of training available to us at Steamboat and, especially, Howelsen Hill. The one place that comes the closest by comparison would be early season at Copper Mountain. I’ve been going there with the SSWSC for fall training for the past seven years, and having the mountain all to ourselves (with a few other teams), plus getting to watch the sun rise over the Rocky Mountains as we train every morning, is definitely something special.
Q. What’s on your warm-up playlist?
A. I go for songs that make me want to get up and move around, but at the same time also help me relax and stay focused. That usually ends up being songs you are more likely to hear at a college party than on an athlete’s warm-up mix, and I’m not going to lie…there are quite a few Ke$ha songs on there. However, for a couple of years now, my go-to song to listen to before getting in the start gate is “Sail” by Awolnation. I like to think of it as my equivalent of a walk-up song in baseball.
Q. Were you always athletic? When did you start?
A. I’ve always been an active and adventurous person, thanks in part to my parents who are both very active people. And, my thirst for competition started at a young age, so sports came pretty naturally to me. I started skiing around age 3, and I’ve been on a snowboard since I was 6. In addition to snowboarding, I grew up sailing, and played soccer all the way through high school.
Q. What’s your favorite junk food?
A. Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups. So yummy, and they are organic. You just can’t beat that combo.
Q. Describe your perfect day.
A. My perfect day is the day after I check off every last thing on my to-do list. This day is very, very rare.
Q. What’s your
favorite Smartphone app?
A. I am a victim of the game Candy Crush Saga, unfortunately. The fact that I am proud when I tell people what level I’m on (214 currently) is slightly depressing.
Q. What book are you reading right now?
A. “Breakfast with Buddha” by Roland Merullo.
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. Sailing trips I get to take with my dad almost every year on the Great Lakes in the late summer/early fall. The air is clean; there are thousands of beautifully remote islands to explore; and there are northern lights to watch at night. It’s the best way to de-stress and re-energize for the last stretch of dry-land training before the snow starts to fall again.
Q. If you had to live in a prior decade, which would it be?
A. The 1960s, because of the music.
Q. What’s your favorite fashion trend?
A. I am probably most thankful for wedges being “in” right now, because I am quite short and completely incapable of walking in normal high heel shoes and sandals. Wedges I can handle though… mostly, so they are my only hope when I wish to gain an extra couple of inches.
Q. Which three words describe you best?
A. Determined, goal-oriented and caring.
Q. What would you do if you won the lottery?
A. As cliché as it might sound, I would give a lot of it away. I didn’t grow up with a lot of money, so I don’t feel the need to have an exorbitant amount of it now. I have kept track of all the amazing people in my life who have supported me both financially and otherwise along my journey, and the first thing I would do would be to repay them for their kindness. Next, I would give my mom enough money to do or buy all the things that she’s ever wanted but had to give up in order to support me and my dream over all these years. She deserves it more than anyone I know. I would also donate some of it to a few organizations that are important to me. After that, I would have some fun; travel, buy a house somewhere warm, maybe a new car, all that good stuff.