Lindsay Williams was born in Hastings, Minnesota, and began ski racing on the Hastings High School Nordic Ski Team. As a junior, Williams was not only the Minnesota High School State Champion, but also a three time Junior National Sprint Champion, and a member of the World Junior Team.
Along with high school rival Lindsey Dehlin, Williams transitioned to the Northern Michigan University ski team and, under the coaching of Sten Fjeldheim and Jenny Ryan, competed for four years at NCAAs, was the 2005 National Sprint Champion, placed third in the Sprint at Canadian Nationals in 2007, and was the 2007 NCAA National Champion.
As a college student, Williams was also able to go to the Olympics —an experience that continues to motivate her training today. “In other countries the sport is HUGE…” according to Williams, “Hopefully someday it will be like that over here.” Currently, Williams competes for the Continental Cup Team, trains with her teammates Lindsey Dehlin and Morgan Smyth, and when she is not skiing, enjoys baking tasty food and working at Farmer Q’s Market. After Williams retires from ski racing, she hopes to start a personal chef service that makes “delicious and healthy meals for people, or families, or teams…called Willy Good Meals.”
Birthdate: June 16, 1984
Hometown: Hastings, Minnesota
Current Residence: Marquette, Michigan
Status on U.S. Ski Team: Continental Cup
Best Results: 2005 National Sprint Champion, 2007 NCAA National Champion, 4 time NCAA All-American, 3rd 2007 Canadian Nationals Sprint
Sponsors: Fischer Skis, Swix Poles
When did you start ski racing, and what were some highlights of your young skiing career?
I started ski racing when I was on the Hastings High School Nordic Ski team. Some of the highlights from my High School Racing days were Minnesota High School State Champion, 3 time Junior National Sprint Champion, World Junior Team member…
Who has been the most influential person for you, whether as a skier or a person?
Sten Fjeldheim and Jenny Ryan have definitely had a huge influence in my life. They have helped to make me the best person I can be on and off the snow. They are both incredible coaches, they believe 110 percent in their training plan and in their athletes, they demand respect from the team and they give respect to the athletes. They push the NMU team harder than many would think wise, but they have a full understanding that they are working with people (with lives outside of skiing and other stresses) and will not push too hard and cause a burn out.
Do you have any consistent training partners? Do you prefer training alone or with others?
I train a lot with Lindsey Dehlin and Morgan Smyth. Interval days and OD days I definitely like training with people… but some days it is nice to have a little ‘me’ time and train by myself.
What is your favorite on snow and dryland workout?
I’m a big fan of short speeds (because its just so much fun to go really fast), spenst, and intervals…
What do you enjoy doing besides skiing?
Cooking and baking tasty food, working at the farmer’s market in the summertime, watching scary movies and reading scary books, enjoying the outdoors, spending time with friends.
Have you always wanted to be a professional ski racer?
After I figured out I wasn’t going to be a hit country singer (because I don’t like country music, and I can’t sing) … YES.
Do you enjoy international ski racing? What is it like to travel to different countries to ski race? Do you find it much different than racing in the U.S.?
Yes, I enjoy international ski racing. In other countries the sport is HUGE! Its awesome and amazing the enthusiasm of the masses of people that show up to watch cross country skiing over in Europe. Hopefully someday it will be like that over here.
If you don’t end up ski racing for a career, how would you be employed? What is your dream job?
If I wasn’t ski racing, then I would want to be in culinary school and become a personal chef. I would make delicious and healthy meals for people, or families, or teams… and I would call my service Willy Good Meals.
How long do you think you will ski professionally? What do you see yourself doing after you finish your ski career?
As long as I can!!! When I am retired from racing I will hopefully start up my personal chef service.
What was it like to go to the Olympics and win a national title as a college student?
It’s hard to put that feeling into words… Amazing is one that comes to mind. It keeps me motivated and makes me keep pushing myself every day because I want that feeling again.
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?
When I was a kid I rode horses, climbed trees, made snow forts, tried to teach my dog how to mush…
How do you pass the time while traveling? Do you have an essential item that you bring with you everywhere?
I enjoy reading good books, watching Iron Chef America, hanging out with my teammates… And it seems like Lindsey comes with me wherever I go…
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?
I eat healthy. Whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, good quality protein. Ya know, the usual healthy diet. I don’t have a favorite pre race dinner as long as it’s something that I enjoy eating! As for breakfast… hot or cold cereal, and toast with peanut butter, honey, and bananas. When we go to places with good foreign food, YES I do enjoy eating foreign food. But I’m not going to lie, I have been to some places where I am not into the local cuisine.
What, if anything, do you do besides ski? How do you spend your weeks off?
When I’m not skiing, I sell delicious produce at Farmer Q’s Market in Marquette. It’s a cute little store that specializes in fresh Michigan fruits and veggies, and on Saturdays in the summer I work at the farmer’s market. I also enjoy spending time in Minnesota whenever I get the chance!!!
You attended NMU, as did a high school rival, Lindsey Dehlin. How was your experience as a student-athlete? Has skiing with Lindsey Dehlin for so long and so competitively improved you as a skier?
Choosing to attend NMU and be a student-athlete was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. I had the opportunity to train with some of the best coaches and athletes in the country, I have friends that will last a lifetime, and I made memories I will never forget. Skiing with Lindsey for so long has been a great experience. Not only has it made me a faster skier by having someone pushing you through many tough workouts, but she is also a good friend off the trails.
How has the transition to the U.S. Ski Team gone? Has there been a major change in your life?
It is different being on the U.S. Ski Team now, but the transition is easier when I have my teammates, Lindsey Dehlin and Morgan Smyth, taking part in the journey also.
Do you have a message for aspiring young skiers? How does a young skier get to where you are now?
Believe in yourself… Not just a little bit, but 110%. Then give 110%. And don’t listen to those negative nancies out there who tell you that you can’t do it.