AUBURN, N.H. — Fischer Skis U.S. announced the Fischer Skis Select Athlete of the Month for March. This month’s featured athlete is 24-year-old Chelsea Holmes of Girdwood, Alaska. Chelsea is wrapping up an outstanding year during which she grew stronger and faster with every race. In March, Chelsea won two races at the Canadian National Championships: the Women’s 5K Freestyle and the 30K Freestyle mass start events. Because of these achievements, Chelsea has been selected as the Fischer Skis Select Athlete of the Month. Below are insights on Chelsea’s training and lifestyle.
Fischer Skis Select Athlete of the Month: Chelsea Holmes
Name: Chelsea Holmes
Hometown: Girdwood, Alaska
Team: Sugar Bowl Academy/Far West
Years Skiing: 11
Years with Fischer: All of them
Q: How did you get started in the sport?
CH: I quit alpine skiing at age 14 and my dad said to me, “Pick a sport” … and here I am.
Q: Skiing is a small community throughout the world. What are the unsaid rules of being a cross country skier in your mind?
CH: “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming” –Dori, Finding Nemo. We’re all hurting, suck it up.
Q: What’s the best workout you did to prepare for the season and why?
CH: In the summer, mountain biking, because it gets my body working hard and gives me the giggles at the same time. In the fall, bounding intervals because they are so tough physically and mentally; for me I don’t think there is another workout that can rival it.
Q: Who are your heroes in the ski community? Who do you look up to?
CH: Olympian Marcus Nash. I respect his tenacity; no matter how hard he falls he always gets back on the horse.
Q: What are your goals for this season?
CH: I only want to race as fast as I can and as much as I can.
Q: What are your favorite conditions and technique to race in?
CH: Firm and new cold snow. In these conditions, classic or skate, I am a happy racer.
Q: In ten years, what story will you be telling about your skiing history?
CH: I hope I can remember the small, everyday moments that contributed to my decision to keep racing: both the memories of hilarity with teammates and the moments on the race course, when my mind switches from “I can’t do this” to “I’m going to do this.”
Q: Cross country ski racing is about hours and training. Where is your favorite place to train and why?
CH: Tahoe Donner in Truckee, California, has my ski favorite trails. But really any place outside that’s not on pavement. On trail or in the mountains, rain or shine, it never feels “about hours.” It’s just me playing and happily working toward my goals.
Q: What’s the toughest part of being a ski racer?
CH: For me it was the indecision between continuing racing and letting it go. Nordic skiers peak much later than most other athletes, usually late twenties and early thirties. I find it scary and tough to commit the next few years to a sport. Knowing that there will likely be days and weeks where I may not be doing as well as I had hoped, and that my ability to go far in this sport is determined by how I handle those days.
Q: You could potentially ski for any program. Why did you choose Fischer?
A: Simply, I like the equipment. Fischer gear has worked very well for me throughout every stage of my development and maturity as a Nordic skier. I really appreciate the company’s creativity and innovation.