Rosie Brennan is a native of Park City, Utah and began skiing in 8th grade. After a slow start as a J2, Brennan believes that she “really began to understand ski racing” in her first year as a J1 in 2005. She attributes much of her quick rise in the skiing arena to the support of her family, her close friend Tiffany Callahan during her junior years, and her coaches in Park City. In 2007-2008, while a student at Dartmouth University, and a member of the US Ski Team, Brennan finished 10th in the World Junior Sprint, 5th in the US National Sprint, 6th in the NCAA 5K Skate, and 7th in the NCAA 15K Classic. “Skiing is great because there are so many little things that everyone can improve,” Brennan believes.
Brennan’s work ethic carries over into her life outside skiing as well; when she is not training, she spends her time studying and volunteering at a nearby elementary school. “The biggest challenge,” according to Brennan, is keeping “good communication between my coaches…and finding the balance between continuing to raise my level of skiing while going to school.” When Brennan retires from ski racing, she hopes to become a teacher.
Hometown: Park City, UT
Current Residence: Hanover, NH/ Park City, UT
Ski Club: Dartmouth Ski Team and Park City Nordic Ski Club
Status on U.S. Ski Team: Continental Cup team member
Best Results: 10th 2007 World Junior Sprint
5th 2007 US National Sprint
6th 2008 NCAA 5k Skate
7th 2008 NCAA 15k Classic
Sponsors: Rossignol, One Way, Toko
When did you start ski racing, and what were some highlights of your young skiing career?
I started skiing when I was in 8th grade. I was a first year J2 and had finally decided to give Nordic skiing a try after a year or so of my mom pushing me to do so. I was nothing special as a J2, but I did love skiing and began to put more and more time into it. Tiffany Callahan was one of the few other girls on the team and was much more experienced than I was and she did so much to help me along the way. We had a blast traveling to qualifiers and she taught me the ins and outs of racing and everything else that comes with it. As a first year J1, I had a great season. I started off a bit slow but things came together for me and I finished the year off with an outstanding JOs.
Where is your favorite place to ski, where is your favorite place to race, what is your favorite part of the season, what are your favorite ski conditions?
My favorite place to race is Donnor Pass outside of Truckee, CA. It is absolutely beautiful there and I have always had great races there. I also love skiing in West Yellowstone as it is the place I really learned how to ski. My favorite place to do intervals is Mill Creek Canyon which is in Salt Lake City. Racing on bomber klister is my absolute favorite.
What drives you to succeed at the highest possible level, and what are your short term and long-term goals as a skier?
I am driven by the desire to always improve and make myself better skier, to see how far I can push myself. Skiing is great because there are so many little things that everyone can improve. There is no one out there that has perfect technique or perfect training habits. There is always something you can work on everyday. I am struggle with technique a lot so I have put more focus into that, especially technique on gradual downhills.
Do you have any consistent training partners? Do you prefer training alone or with others?
Most of the time, I love having a training partner. This works well at school as I have a great team and always someone to train with.
What is your favorite on snow and dryland workout?
I have to admit, I love doing intervals. Moose Hooves are my favorite in the summer.
What do you enjoy doing besides skiing?
These days I spend a lot of time studying when I’m not training. I’m not sure I always enjoy studying, but that’s what I have decided to do. I volunteer at a nearby elementary school as well and I love working with kids and being in the classroom. It’s a blast. In the summer, I love doing all kinds of things outside with friends.
If you don’t end up ski racing for a career, how would you be employed? What is your dream job?
When I am done skiing I hope to become a teacher.
How long do you think you will ski professionally, if you do? What do you see yourself doing after you finish your ski career?
I plan to ski as long as I am having fun doing it and keep making some improvements. I will probably teach when I’m done, maybe go back to school, I don’t know, I haven’t really thought that far ahead….
How did you rise so quickly through the ranks of American skiers? Was there a specific turning point? Describe your training or other factors that have allowed you such success.
I just love skiing so much, I didn’t mind training and spending time focused on improving. I have always just set goals with my coach at the beginning of each season and worked toward those goals. Most years, I reached them. I have always had great coaches that have invested a lot of time into helping me get there and have had lots of support from my family that has allowed me to accomplish everything I can. I had large improvements most years as a junior skier, but I think in 2005 as a first year J1, I really began to understand ski racing and things came together quite quickly.
You ski in the incredibly powerful Dartmouth Skiing program. How has skiing for Dartmouth, and in the east, affected your skiing career?
I love skiing for Dartmouth. The program here is amazing. I have the opportunity to train with great people and to continue to improve in all aspects of skiing. Our coach, Cami Thompson, wants what’s best for us and gives me the chance to compete for both Dartmouth and the US Ski Team. It is a wonderful opportunity. As for the east… I am a wetsterner at heart and always will be, but Hanover is a great place to train. There is good running and good roads to roller-ski on. Oak Hill is a fun place to ski, but only if it snows. The weather gets my down sometimes, but bad weather does make you tougher. More than anything, I just miss looking at the mountains everyday.
Do you enjoy racing/competing in other sports during the offseason, or did you play other sports as a kid? What are some favorite non-skiing competitions?
I ran cross-country and track in high school. We had a great team and won a handful of state championships. It was a lot of fun and I miss cross-country, but focusing on skiing in college was definitely the right thing to do. I played soccer and did gymnastics as a little kid.
How do you pass the time while traveling? Do you have an essential item that you bring with you everywhere?
I always have my computer. These days, I spend most plane rides doing homework, but when I am not in school I watch movies or read magazines.
What does your diet consist of? Do you have a favorite pre-race dinner and breakfast? Do you enjoy eating foreign food when you travel?
Nutrition is a weak spot for me. I am rather picky. I do like trying foreign food on the road though. I love chocolate and eat it just about everyday. For a normal meal with my roommates, we pick a meat, a carb, and some veggies and mix them all together.
How has the transition to the U.S. Ski Team gone? Has there been a major change in your life?
It hasn’t been a huge change as I choose to continue on the path I choose before becoming a member of the team. The biggest challenge for me is to keep good communication between my college coach, my club coach, and the US Ski Team coaches and obviously finding the balance between continuing to raise my level of skiing while going to school is an inherent challenge.
Do you have a message for aspiring young skiers? How does a young skier get to where you are now?
You have to be having fun and hold a lot of passion for what you are doing. Set goals and go big, you never know what you’re capable of until you give it try.