Hometown: Afton, MN
Sport: Cross-country skiing
Current Location: Minnesota
Best Career Performance: Winning the WC skate sprint qualifier in Moscow, Russia and then placing 6th in the heats.
Q. What made you want to be an athlete?
A. Ever since I could walk I’ve enjoyed being outdoors and active with my family; going on hikes, camping, canoeing, and skiing. In school I loved the team atmosphere in sports and the great feeling of accomplishment after finishing a race or challenging training session. Also, getting to travel all over the world for races is really exciting. I wanted to be an athlete because training, traveling and racing for my job sounded like a lot of fun…and it is!
Q. Who were your role models and how did they influence you, especially at a young age?
A. Beckie Scott, Chandra Crawford and Kikkan Randall were my role models growing up, because they were such strong women in sports and showed very good sportsmanship and attitudes on and off the snow. Becky and Chandra (both from Canada) both won gold medals at the Olympics, and they won by working hard and skiing smart. Kikkan has continued to push women’s skiing forward in the US and break boundaries, showing girls that it is possible to become the best in the world if you want it enough and are willing to put in the hard work. I’ve always looked up to them and since I was little I wanted to be just like them!
Q. How do you embody good sportsmanship? How do you deal with situations of bad sportsmanship?
A. For me, racing has always about wanting to push my body’s limits and win because I skied fast, not because of cheating or cutting corners. So I always make sure to follow the rules and respect the other skiers. Sometimes there are poor sports on the trails who will try to push you off the course or dope, but it’s important to focus only on what you can control and not worry about other athletes showing bad sportsmanship. That’s for their coaches to handle, and you don’t want to stoop to their level!
Q. Can you tell us about your 2nd place team event finish with Kikkan Randall this season? What did it feel like to podium in your first World Cup season?
A. That was unreal! It felt so amazing to podium with Kikkan in the team sprint in Milan this winter. For me, it was extra special because it really opened my eyes and showed me that although in the past; women from the USA haven’t medaled much, with a lot of hard work it can happen. Also, getting to partner up with one of my role models was really inspiring; sort of like getting to tag off to superwoman! It set the tone for the winter and made me want to work extra hard so that I can podium again.
Q. What is the best advice someone ever gave you?
A. Do your best, and forget the rest! If you try your hardest and know that you gave a race or training session or even a test in school 100%, then you can be happy with the result.
Q. What does mean to you to be fast and female?
A. To me, being fast and female means loving and respecting your body so that you can be strong and fast and do everything you want to in life; if that’s a sport, a camping trip, or your job. It means you are passionate and excited about what you do and you share your love of sport with your friends. And it means you can rock the glitter and pink!
Compiled by Nancye Rahn.