Brian Gregg was born in 1984 in Winthrop, Washington and began skiing (and sharing only one pair of skis and poles) with his twin brother at a young age. As a J3, Gregg began traveling and racing throughout the Pacific Northwest under the enthusiastic coaching of Laura McCabe (1998 Factory Team).
Gregg continued to develop as a skier at both Western State College of Colorado and the University of Alaska at Anchorage. In 2006 at UAA Gregg placed 6th in the 20K Skate at US Nationals and after graduating in 2007, began training with the CXC Elite Team, placing 6th in the SuperTour Sprint in Bozeman, 2nd in the Overall Sprint SuperTour in 2008, and was named to the Canadian World Cup Team.
Gregg plans to ski at the elite level at least through 2014, after which he hopes to become involved with the business side of a small technology company. When Gregg is not skiing, he enjoys most any kind of competition, including mountain running races, soccer, and basketball. To fuel his active lifestyle, Gregg eats plenty of Swedish Fish and baked goods with butter!
Hometown: Winthrop, WA and Hayward, WI
Current Residence: Hayward, WI
Ski Club: CXC
Height: 5’ 8”
Sponsors: CXC: Salomon, Toko, One Way, Rudy Project, In The Arena
When did you start ski racing, and what were some highlights of your young skiing career?
My twin brother and I started out sharing one pair of skis and poles. For the most part we would wrestle around in the back yard with one ski and one pole each. As a J3 I began traveling to races throughout the Pacific Northwest. Ski trips and ski races quickly became my favorite thing. My brother, Sam Naney and I played/trained together in the Methow Valley and were separated by only a few seconds in races throughout our Junior careers. We were always fired up to train harder so we could beat each other and get on top of the podium.
Who has been the most influential person for you, whether as a skier or a person?
I continue to be influenced by many people, but one who stands out is my junior coach Laura McCabe. Laura skied for The Factory Team and started coaching us while training for the Nagano Olympics in 1998. Laura hard work ethic and enthusiasm through the sport motivated us all to write down our goals and go after them. It was fun to watch her qualify for and race in the big show.
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?
The Methow Valley. Soldier Hollow, Spring, Deep Powder
What drives you to succeed at the highest possible level, and what are your long-term goals as a skier?
I enjoy the lifestyle of a cross-country ski racer and seeing just what my body is capable of doing. I want to be a member of a competitive US Ski Team and race with the best throughout the world.
What are your favorite race formats/distances, and do you try to specialize for these events?
Mass Start Freestyle, but I enjoy it all and train equally for everything. This year I am focusing a bit more on distance races.
What are your overall goals for this season?
My focus for the first part of this season is on being top 10 at US Short Distance Nationals. My goals is to make the distance team for the Whistler World Cup and performing well in the 15km Freestyle.
Do you have any consistent training partners? Do you prefer training alone or with others?
Garrott Kuzzy is my standard training partner in Hayward and throughout the year. I usually prefer to train with others, especially in the weight room. I enjoy training with the entire CXC team during training camps, so usually 2 weeks each month. Additionally I enjoy training with my brother and Sam Naney when I am in Washington.
What is your favorite on snow workout and favorite dryland workout?
5x4min Uphill Freestyle on rollerskis or on snow.
What do you enjoy doing besides skiing?
Reading, Eating and Talking at the kitchen table, Surfing the Internet, Programming, Climbing, Soccer, Basketball, and Slack lining,
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 am committed to skiing 100% but I think it is important to balance my life with other activities. I enjoy helping out at the Lac Courte Oreilles Boys and Girls Club through In The Arena (www.in-the-arena.org). I help youth with their homework and organize after school activities that promote fitness and a healthy lifestyle. I am looking forward to getting the kids out on skis when I am back in town this winter.
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 plan on a long career as a ski racer and see myself racing at the elite level through 2014. Beyond skiing I would like to be involved on the business side of a small technology company. My brother is the President of an online video/photo sharing startup www.stashspace.com and I find the work he does interesting. I can see myself doing something very similar in the future.
Do you or did you ever attend college? How did you make that decision?
I wanted to ski at a NCAA DI school in the West where I would be competitive for academic and athletic scholarships. I enjoyed 2 years at Western State College of Colorado before transferring to and graduating with a BA in Business Administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage.
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 most any kind of competition. In the off season I like to enter a few mountain running/trail races, and play pick-up soccer and basketball. This past year I rode the Firehouse 50 team time trial road race with some of the other CXC guys and enjoyed my first single speed mountain bike race.
What do you do with any spare time at training camps or on race trips?
Eat and Sleep. Most of my meals are home cooked from scratch. Nothing fancy but I like stuff with raw and cheap ingredients. I feel like I spend a lot of time preparing and eating food. Also, I try and lie down and read or take a short nap between workouts. I also spend a lot of time on my laptop working on different little projects.
What does your diet consist of? Do you have a favorite pre-race dinner and breakfast?
Oatmeal, apples, bananas, homemade bread, peanut butter, tuna fish, honey, milk, onions, rice, venison, tomatoes, ground beef, peppers and Swedish fish.
I try and mix things up from day to day but these are the basics. I like to start the day with a big bowl of Oatmeal, spruced up with apples, peaches, blueberries, bananas and/or raisins. For the most part I eat the same in preparation for a race as during training.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I am a big fan of Swedish Fish and baked goods with butter. My self control with those two things is terrible.
How do you spend your weeks off?
I enjoy spending a few weeks in April with my family playing in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. Usually the backcountry skiing is great and even when the snow is bad; it is still good because the mountains are so cool.
What is the best race or workout you have ever done?
My freshman year of college I finished in the mid-twenties in most of my college races. My parents came and watched two weekend of racing that year. During the first weekend I finished 11th at the CU Invitational. The next weekend on my home course in a 15km mass start freestyle I had a 7th in the WSC Invitational. I am not sure why but I always race better when my Mom and Dad are on the course cheering.
What race events are in your plan for this season, and which race are you looking forward to the most?
US Nationals, Whistler World Cup, Midwest SuperTours, World Championships or American Birkebeiner, US Distance Nationals. I am most excited about the skate races, but I have been working a lot on my classic skiing and looking forward to improving my classic results.
What else do you want to say?
Check out my blog at www.xcSkiLife.com to follow me and my teams’ adventures throughout the year.