Colin Rogers began skiing in the Bill Koch Youth Ski League in Northwestern Vermont, and the highlight of his young ski career was getting a lollipop every time he crossed the finish line. He continued his training at Middlebury College from 2000-2004, graduating with a degree in Environmental Geology. “I knew I wanted to go to college,” Rogers says, “so it was not a hard decision to make.”
In 2004 Rogers placed 5th in the sprint at US Nationals, and in 2005 he took 6th in the sprint at US Nationals and 10th Overall in the SuperTour. Rogers is currently living in Ketchum, Idaho and training with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, hoping to be at the start line in the 2010 Olympics.
Whether or not Rogers makes the Olympic Team, he believes that the spring of 2010 will be a reassessment time for his training. “I will ski for as long as I am passionate about the sport and improving,” he says. When Rogers is not skiing, he enjoys backcountry skiing, learning to surf, and collecting US quarters.
Birthdate: May 8, 1981
Hometown: Westford, VT.
Current Residence: Ketchum, ID
Ski Club: Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation
Team: Fischer/ Craft
Height: 5’ 9”
Sponsors: SVSEF, Fischer/Craft, Alpina, Idaho Nordic, Vasa Trainer, Ski Tek, Rovers North, Westford, VT.
When did you start ski racing, and what were some highlights of your young skiing career?
I started ski racing when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I grew up skiing in the Bill Koch Youth Ski League in Northwestern Vermont. Highlights were getting a lollipop whenever I crossed the finish line.
Who has been the most influential person for you, whether as a skier or a person?
There have been many people that have influenced my life in positive ways. There is no way I can name them all. I try to take advice from all types of people and learn from what their personalities offer- both the positive and negative.
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 can’t name favorites. I love to cross country ski- that means training and racing in all different places, different conditions and at different times of the year. You have to enjoy where you are when you are there. I think that is the most important.
What drives you to succeed at the highest possible level, and what are your long-term goals as a skier?
It sounds a little cliché, but I like the challenge. Cross country ski racing is definitely one of the most physically and mentally demanding sports. There is no doubt it is hard for me, but everyday I wake up and try to improve. Sometimes that means I need to rest and do something other than ski, other days that means I need to push my body to its limits in intervals or a race.
In terms of goals- I strive to push my body to see what it is capable of. I want to test myself on the ultimate stage- at the World Championships and the Olympics in 2010.
What are your favorite race formats/distances, and do you try to specialize for these events?
This year I will be competing in all types of distances- sprint, 10k, 15k, 30k and 50k. In the past I have had my best results in sprinting. I do incorporate several sprint focused workouts into my training, but I would say that my overall training plan is pretty traditional.
What are your overall goals for this season?
Podium at US Nationals in sprint and team sprint.
Top 10 in all of the distance races at US Nationals.
Qualify top 30 in the Cl sprint at the World Cup in Whistler.
2009 World Championship Team member.
Win 08/09 SuperTour Sprint Title.
Do you have any consistent training partners? Do you prefer training alone or with others?
I train with my team- SVSEF. I train alone some too. I think it is important to balance both.
What is your favorite on snow workout and favorite dryland workout?
On snow workout: Interval training in transitioning terrain.
Dryland workout: Natural intervals on foot with bounding poles- 1 hour on time on loop format.
What do you enjoy doing besides skiing?
I have a mountain bike that I like to use and a motorcycle that is broken right now, but is really fun to ride! I am trying to learn more about fixing it up. Hopefully it will be rolling again this spring.
I really like backcountry skiing too. The powder in the West is pretty sweet! I still want to learn more about traveling in the backcountry and avalanche safety as well.
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 paint/stain houses as well as do a lot of other odd jobs. I also cut wood in the fall.
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 will ski for as long as I am passionate about the sport and improving. I hope to make the Olympics in 2010. No matter if I am going fast in 2010 or not that spring will be a reassessment time and I will go from there. Right now I am just focused on the present and getting faster each day I go out the door to train.
Do you or did you ever attend college? How did you make that decision?
I went to Middlebury College from 2000-04 and graduated with a degree in Environmental Geology. I always knew I wanted to go to college so it was not a hard decision to make.
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 usually do a few mountain bike races and running races in the off season. I competed a lot as a kid for sure- mountain biking, alpine skiing, running, playing soccer, basketball, rock climbing and of course ski racing.
What do you do with any spare time at training camps or on race trips?
Hang out. You get pretty good at killing time when you are an athlete. Resting is important. I watch some movies, read a bit, check out the town that we are staying in etc. Trying to keep a balanced life is important even when you are on the road.
What does your diet consist of? Do you have a favorite pre-race dinner and breakfast?
I eat a pretty healthy well rounded diet. I am not too particular about what I eat the night before I race. For breakfast I usually eat oatmeal or some toast and eggs.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I collect US quarters. I still have a few states I have not found yet- like Pennsylvania? I know that one came out a long time ago but I still have not found it.
How do you spend your weeks off?
I have gotten into backcountry tele-skiing since I have moved out west which is kick ass. You have all of the powder you want and don’t have to be around tons of people waiting in line.
Last April a crew of skiers went down to Costa Rica and I learned to surf a bit which was really fun. I don’t get to warm places like that too often so I got a little toasted from the sun. It felt good though to be somewhere warm after ending the racing season in a cold Fairbanks, Alaska.
This fall I had a few easy weeks and I spent most of them cutting firewood for the stove this winter. I enjoy doing physical work so I have to be careful not to do too much when I am supposed to be taking it easy. It has definitely taken me awhile to learn this lesson.
What is the best race or workout you have ever done?
The best ones are yet to come. I don’t think I have reached my potential yet.
What race events are in your plan for this season, and which races are you are looking forward to the most?
I am doing most of the SuperTour competitions along with some of the early season Canadian NorAms, US Nationals and hopefully the World Cups in Whistler. After that the season is up in the air except for Canadian Nationals in March. We will definitely be there. The dream goal this season is to go to Liberec, Czech Republic for the 2009 World Championships.
I am looking forward to US Nationals at Kincaid Park this January and towards the competitions held on the Olympic courses in Whistler- both the NorAms in December and the World Cup races in January.
What else do you want to say?
Lay it all out there and don’t be afraid to follow your dreams. That is the only way to turn them into reality.