In an effort to showcase the North Americans competing at this week’s International Ski Federation (FIS) 2017 USANA Nordic Junior World Championships and U23 Cross Country World Championships at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah, we asked those qualifying athletes several questions about themselves — actually, we had them fill in the blanks. Here we have 22-year-old Mathilde Petitjean, of the Pierre-Harvey National Training Centre, who’s representing Togo at her second U23 Worlds. On Tuesday, she finished 36th in the classic sprint. She was listed to start Saturday’s 20 k skiathlon.
“My full name is Mathilde Amivi Petitjean, but you can call me Matti. I was born in Togo (yep everybody, I was in Africa, so cool for a cross country skier) , raised in La Roche-sur-Foron (little city in France), and one thing you should know about my hometown is we can see the Mont-Blanc when we take some altitude.
I started cross-country skiing when I was seven, thanks to Le ski club du pays rochois.
I currently train in Saint-Férreol-les-Neiges, Québec, with CNEPH [Centre National d’Entraînement Pierre-Harvey, a.k.a. Pierre-Harvey National Training Centre].
If I’m not skiing, you might find me cooking some sweet meals or working on my Quebec accent with my teammates.
If I had to pick a favorite book, it would be ‘Comment se faire des amis of Dale Carnegie‘.
One of the things I’m most excited about for U23/Junior Worlds at Soldier Hollow is to show my new race suit to everybody, so flashy. One race I’m especially targeting there is the sprint.
The best advice anyone ever gave me about skiing or racing was no pain, no game.
One of the best race memories I have is: ouhh I have lots of but I think it was the finish of the Olympic 10 k classic. The stands of the Olympic stadium were filled to bursting and everybody on the finish area cheered me on. That was awesome.
If I could meet one World Cup skier, it would be the young and talented sprinter Lucas Chanavat …… oh sorry I forgot it’s my friend.
If I don’t end up being a professional skier, I’ll probably be an adventurer like Indiana Jones or maybe a long jump athlete.
I’m missing zero of school to be here, and my professors are probably thinking, ‘Oh please, I hope Mathilde will not come with a Quebec accent went she’s back to school.’
You can follow me on Instagram @mathilde.petitjean.”