In an effort to showcase the North Americans competing at this week’s International Ski Federation (FIS) 2017 USANA Nordic Junior World Championships and U23 Cross Country World Championships at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah, we asked those qualifying athletes several questions about themselves — actually, we had them fill in the blanks. Here we have 21-year-old Julian Smith, of the National Team Development Center (NTDC) Thunder Bay, who’s representing Canada at his first U23 Worlds Championships after competing at last year’s Junior Worlds.
“My full name is Julian Thomas Tones Smith, but you can call me J-man. I was born in The Hammer raised in Wiarton, Ontario, and one thing you should know about my hometown is it is the hometown of Wiarton Willie, an albino groundhog who determines the length of winter by looking for his shadow on February 2nd.
I started cross-country skiing when I was three, thanks to my parents moving out to the country with many snow mobile trails to ski on. I currently train in Thunder Bay with NTDC Tbay.
If I’m not skiing, you might find me wearing birks and a tilly hat taking photos with my film camera. If I had to pick a favorite book, it would be ‘The Liberator’ by Alex Kershaw.
One of the things I’m most excited about for U23/Junior Worlds at Soldier Hollow is having a most epic and excited cheering section composed of all of our parents that are coming down to support us. One race I’m especially targeting there is the classic sprint.
The best advice anyone ever gave me about skiing or racing was ‘The top of the podium is a small place.’ Difficult to get to but motivating to aspire to be there. One of the best race memories I have is the entire trip to World Juniors in Almaty, KAZ.
If I could meet one World Cup skier, it would be Maurice Manificat.
If I don’t end up being a professional skier, I’ll probably be going to school to do something that I love.
I’m missing so many days of school that I have decided to take a break from school this semester, and my professors are probably thinking, ‘I don’t have to deal with that skier this semester.’
You can follow me on Instagram @julian.tt.smith.”