Kelly Milligan, 1984 US Cross-Country Olympian, showed last week at the Soldier Hollow SuperTour that she can still ski with the best US Cross-Country women. Fasterskier.com decided to find out what drives and makes 40-year young women still race as fast as Kelly does. Read through for some great advise for young and upcoming female skiers.
It is interesting to see that you can still keep up 20 years after Olympic racing? Do you think you ski as fast today as you did in Sarajevo 1984?
I do not feel as strong now as I did back in my 20's but I may be almost as fast. I'd say two years ago I was pretty close to as fast as I was when I made the 1984 Olympics. By not being as strong I mean I feel more vulnerable to injury and over training. I used to recover from a hard race or work out in a couple of days and now it can take a week. I also get these strange little pains in various muscles, joints, etc. after and during some workouts. These pains are always in the back of my mind and I think sometimes keep me from being as mentally tough as I would like to be. I also find myself more tentative in some situations like sliding down the neighborhood dirt pile with my daughter Katie (age 8). I used to never think about how some activity, like shoveling or sliding might cause an injury and thus maybe I shouldn't do it.
What are your best results the last 2 years? How about before then (back in the 80's)?
My results at Olympic trials in 1984 were a 3rd, 4th, and two 5th places. In Bozeman in 2002 I got two 5th place (4th American) finishes and also was the 4th American in the Sun Valley 5 km International Invitational that was held before the Boulder Mountain Tour that year. I then placed 3rd in the Boulder our a couple of days later. Those are by far my best results since 1984.