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 Natalie Hynes, of the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) Ski Team and the Yukon Ski Team, who’s representing the U.S. at her third Junior Worlds.
On Thursday, Hynes placed 24th in the 10 k skiathlon for her career-best result at Junior Worlds.
“My full name is Natalie Hynes, but you can call me Hey You.
I was born and raised in the Yukon, and I learned to ski at the Mt. Mac Ski Trails.
I spent the time between Mont Sainte-Anne trials and Junior/U23 Worlds racing in West Yellowstone.
The most scenic workout I did in the last training year to prepare for this was mountain biking in the Wheaton River Valley with my border collie.
This is my first time in Switzerland and my third time racing internationally, and so far it’s been very snowy.
One difference I’ve noticed between Switzerland and Canada is the length of the meals.
Skiing and racing in the Alps is so beautiful. Usually racing at altitude is hard for me because there is not enough air to share with all the other competitors. There are so many incredible mountains around where I live.
One of the things I’m most excited about for Junior/U23 Worlds in Goms is gaining experience racing internationally.
One race I’m especially targeting there is the skiathlon.
I really hope I can chat/make friends with someone from Norway and ask them if they know my Norwegian teammate, Marte.
My favorite thing at the breakfast where we are staying are the kiwis.
Fondue is probably better here than in Canada but I haven’t had the chance to try it. The cheese here is strong. And the chocolate is so delicious.
If I had a totally free day here and didn’t have to worry about race fitness or training, I’d spend it taste testing Swiss chocolate.
The best way to follow me on social media is on Instagram @natalie.heinz.”