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 18-year-old Hailey Swirbul, of the University of Alaska Anchorage, who’s representing the U.S. at her second Junior Worlds.
“My full name is Hailey Swirbul, but you can call me Swirb. Or whatever. I was born in Grand Junction, Colo., raised in El Jebel, Colo., and one thing you should know about my hometown is that there is a Whole Foods grocery store. That’s the most exciting thing that has happened recently.
I started cross-country skiing when I was in 5th grade, thanks to my brother, Keegan. I currently train in Anchorage, Alaska, with the University of Alaska Anchorage.
If I’m not skiing, you might find me shredding around campus on my retro Raleigh bike named Ralph. If I had to pick a favorite book, it would be ‘Thug Kitchen’ (a cookbook).
One of the things I’m most excited about for Junior Worlds at Soldier Hollow is convincing [U.S. Ski Team Development Coach] Bryan Fish to dye his hair red and blue. One race I’m especially targeting there is the 10 k skiathlon.
The best advice anyone ever gave me about skiing or racing was ‘Execute the things in your control to the best of your abilities and don’t worry at all about the rest.’ S/o Maria Stuber.
One of the best race memories I have is the 5 k classic mass start junior race in Houghton at the 2015 Senior Nationals… somehow??
If I could meet one World Cup skier, it would be Baptiste Gros.
If I don’t end up being a professional skier, I’ll probably be eating frosting out of the jar for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 🙂
I’m missing four days of school to be here, and my teachers are probably thinking, ‘Get your priorities straight and come to class. Do you want to get your degree or not?!‘
You can follow me on Instagram or Twitter @haiswirl.”