Under 23 Questions: Thomas O’Harra

FasterSkierFebruary 5, 2018
Thomas O’Harra (Alaska Pacific University) racing at 2018 U.S. Cross Country Championships last month at Kincaid Park in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo: Ariana O’Harra)

In an effort to showcase the North Americans who competed at last 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 21-year-old Thomas O’Harra, of Alaska Pacific University, who represented the U.S. at his first U23 Worlds (after competing at three Junior Worlds).

Last week in Goms, O’Harra placed 43rd in the 15 k classic and 64th in the freestyle sprint.


“My full name is Thomas O’Harra, but you can call me Thomas.

I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, and I learned to ski at the age of 5.

I spent the time between U.S. nationals and Junior/U23 Worlds training and getting ready for school.

The chase for third place during men’s 50 k freestyle at the 2017 U.S. Distance Nationals last March in Fairbanks, Alaska. Thomas O’Harra (123) leads, followed by Patrick Caldwell (103), Adam Martin (105), Eric Packer (119), Tyler Kornfield, and Tad Elliott. (Photo: Max Kaufman)

This is my second time in Switzerland and seventh time racing internationally, and so far it’s been fantastic.

One difference I’ve noticed between Switzerland and the U.S. is the chocolate is much better.

Skiing and racing in the Alps is pretty great. Usually racing at altitude is fun for me because I enjoy steady grinding. There are many mountains around where I live.

One of the things I’m most excited about for Junior/U23 Worlds in Goms is the opportunity to race against this level of competition again.

One race I’m especially targeting there is the 30 k skiathlon (specifically, the second half).

I really hope I can chat/make friends with someone from Norway and ask them if they think Klaebo is as cool as most Americans.

My favorite thing at the breakfast where we are staying is I can eat as much as I’d like.

Fondue is bread and cheese, my friend. The cheese here is stinky. And the chocolate is milk.

If I had a totally free day here and didn’t have to worry about race fitness or training, I’d spend it taking pictures and taking the tram up to the mountaintops.

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


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