Nicole DeYoung was born in 1982 in Anchorage, Alaska. After hating her first race as a J2, DeYoung found herself racing on her high school team, working her way to a top five finish at JOs. DeYoung began her collegiate ski career at APU but switched to UAA to participate in NCAA events.
In 2005, under the coaching of Trond Flagstad, DeYoung skied to a 2nd place in the NCAA 15K skate. Since then, she has posted a 9th in the 5K skate at 2008 U.S. Nationals, 5th in the 2008 15K Pursuit at U.S. Nationals, and 4th in the 2008 American Birkebeiner. Although DeYoung does not specialize in any event, she prefers longer skate races.
Currently, DeYoung is living in Ketchum, Idaho, and training with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, with the ultimate goal of representing the United States in the 2010 Olympics. When DeYoung is not skiing, she enjoys camping, kayaking, backpacking, baking, reading, and hanging out with her friends and family.
Birthdate: December 6, 1982
Hometown: Anchorage, AK
Current Residence: Ketchum, Idaho?Ski
Club: Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation
Best Results: 2nd- 2005 15k skate NCAA
9th- 2008 5k skate U.S. Nationals
4th- 2008 50k skate American Birkiebeiner
5th- 2008 15k pursuit U.S. Nationals
Sponsors: Fischer/Craft, Alpina, Koth Physical Therapy, Summit Prosthetics and Orthotics, In the Arena, SVSEF
When did you start ski racing, and what were some highlights of your ?young skiing career?
I participated in my first ski race as a J2 and was not fond of it at all! I said I would never race again but a year later, I found myself on the high school ski team…racing. A few highlights from my younger ski career entail the 4x5k relay at Alaska State Cross-Country Skiing Championships when the Service ski team got disqualified and our team, East High, gave up our medals. I also have fond memories of Junior Nationals and placing in the top 5.
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?
I enjoy skiing anywhere…as long as there is snow, I am happy! I enjoy racing at Soldier Hollow.
What drives you to succeed at the highest possible level, and what are your long-term goals as a skier?
The challenge of getting to the highest possible level drives me to succeed and the sense of accomplishment of working hard in return. I am striving to make the 2010 Olympics and be competitive at an international level.
What are your favorite race formats/distances, and do you try to specialize for these events?
Last season I proved to have decent results in all sorts of formats and distances, ranging from classic sprints to 50k skate races. I generally prefer longer skate races. I don’t specialize in any particular event…I like to do them all!
What are your overall goals for this season?
Top 10 at U.S. Nationals, represent U.S. at the World Cup in Whistler and qualify for the World Champ Team.
Do you have any consistent training partners? Do you prefer training alone ?or with others?
The people on the SVODT team are my consistent training partners. I enjoy training with other people mostly for the company but also for the extra push and drive it creates during harder workouts.
What is your favorite on snow workout and favorite dryland workout?
My favorite on snow workout out is probably doing L4 intervals such as 6x4min. While it might not be the most fun while I’m doing the workout, I always feel a sense of accomplishment afterwards. My favorite dryland workout without a doubt is an OD run in the mountains.
What do you enjoy doing besides skiing?
Lots of things! I enjoy camping, kayaking, backpacking, baking, hanging out with family and friends, reading, etc.
In terms of employment, are you a 100% full-time athlete, or do you have another job besides training/racing? If so, what do you do?
I help with the kids programs at the local YMCA. Working there is a great opportunity to get to know the kids in the community and be a positive role-model for them.
How long do you think you will ski at the elite level? What do you see yourself ?doing after you finish your ski career?
I am committed to skiing until 2010 and then I will take it from there. When my ski career is finished, I would consider going back to school but would ultimately like to begin a career, possibly in the medical field.
Do you or did you ever attend college? How did you make that decision?
I attended the University of Alaska, Anchorage. I wanted to ski collegiantly and at that time I was attending Alaska Pacific University, which does not participate in NCAA events. So I looked into UAA, met Trond, the ski coach, and decided to switch schools. It was a great decision and I enjoyed 4 great years skiing for UAA.
Do you enjoy racing/competing in other sports during the offseason? Did you play other sports as a kid? What are some of your favorite non-skiing competitions?
I enjoy doing mountain running races and other running races in the offseason. The big race in the offseason for me is “Mt. Marathon” in Seward, Alaska. It is a tradition to do this grueling mountain race (it’s not a marathon) 1.5 miles up and 1.5 miles down, with an average grade of 45 degrees.
As a kid I played soccer, swam, ran, skied and did track.
What do you do with any spare time at training camps or on race trips?
Not much…I always bring a stash of books and some good movies. The time seems to fly by when you are training so much at camps or when you are focused on racing. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of extra time.
What does your diet consist of? Do you have a favorite pre-race dinner and ?breakfast?
Nothing in particular. I like to eat healthy so I tend to cook a lot of my own food. My typical pre-race breakfast consists of oatmeal and coffee. For longer races I add an egg for a little protein.
How do you spend your weeks off?
I’m not one to take weeks off but when the season is over, it’s a tradition to visit someplace warm…Hawaii, Mexico, Costa Rica, etc.
What is the best race or workout you have ever done?
My best race is when I got 2nd in the 15k skate, 2005 NCAA’s in Stowe Vermont. I went into the race with hopes of getting top-5, which I thought was a little ambitious. I started the race conservatively, placing myself in the top-10. Halfway through the race I kept moving myself up until I was in third. Before I knew it, I saw 2nd place right in front of me with 2k to go! On the final climb to the finish, I gave it everything and ended up 2nd. I have to say I was quite surprised with myself. ??The best workout I’ve done was a set of 6x4min running intervals with the UAA team. I pushed myself SO hard, I couldn’t stay awake during class and after class I could barely make it to my car. Whoa, I was tired! I don’t think i’ll forget that one.
What race events are in your plan for this season, and which race are you are looking forward to the most?
I am planning on doing the early season super tours in West Yellowstone, Bozeman, and Soldier Hollow. I will head up to Whistler for NorAms before making my way up to Alaska for U.S. Nationals. The later part of the season is up in the air, with the exception of Canadian Nationals and Long-Distance U.S. Nationals. I am very excited for U.S. Nationals in my hometown. I have never competed in a national even there, so I am excited to make it my first!