GeneralInterviewsJuniorsOtherRacingUnder 23 Questions: Lydia Blanchet

FasterSkier FasterSkierFebruary 2, 2018
Lydia Blanchet (Dartmouth Ski Team) during the 10 k freestyle at 2018 US nationals last month in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo: Betsy Arnold)

In an effort to showcase the North Americans competing at this week’s International Ski Federation (FIS) 2018 Nordic Junior/U23 World Championships in Goms, Switzerland, we asked those qualifying athletes several questions about themselves — actually, we had them fill in the blanks. Here we have 20-year-old Lydia Blanchet, of the Dartmouth Ski Team, who’s representing the U.S. at her first U23 Worlds. 

Blanchet notched a top 30 this week in the 10 k classic, where she finished 30th, and placed 32nd in the freestyle sprint and 38th in the 15 k skiathlon in Goms.

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“My full name is Lydia Anne Blanchet, but you can call me Lydia Anne Blanchet.

I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, and I learned to ski with the Anchorage Junior Nordic League at Kincaid Park, and later with APU.

I spent the time between U.S. nationals and Junior/U23 Worlds catching up with work from the first week of classes and getting settled in my new apartment.

The hardest and coolest workout I did in the last training year to prepare for this was running the 22 miles from the rim of the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River and back with my best friend and teammate Taryn Hunt-Smith this fall on our geology field program.

Lydia Blanchet (Dartmouth Ski Team) on the Athabasca Glacier in Banff this past September on a Dartmouth geology field program. (Photo: Laura Hutchinson)

This is my first time in Switzerland and first time racing internationally, and so far it’s been a dream!

One difference I’ve noticed between Switzerland and the U.S. is the toilet flushers.

Skiing and racing in the Alps is like skiing in a story book. Usually racing at altitude is painful for me because I’m a sea level girl through and through. There are humongous, beautiful mountains around where I live, but I train by the ocean!

One of the things I’m most excited about for Junior/U23 Worlds in Goms is getting to meet skiers from every corner of the world.

One race I’m especially targeting there is the skiathlon, but I’m excited for all of them.

I really hope I can chat/make friends with someone from Kazakhstan and ask them if they really are the greatest exporters of potassium.

My favorite thing at the breakfast where we are staying are croissants with jam and brie.

Fondue is what my family used to eat on New Year’s. The cheese here is enough to make me move to Switzerland. And the chocolate is enough to make me stay for the rest of my life.

If I had a totally free day here and didn’t have to worry about race fitness or training, I’d spend it doing a 45 minute sled run down an alpine resort—which I did with my dad on Tuesday!

The best way to follow me on social media is on Instagram @blanchetlydia.”

Lydia Blanchet (Dartmouth Ski Team) getting some air at the top of the tram by the U.S. team’s hotel in Goms, Switzerland. (Photo: Thomas O’Harra)

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