Nordic Nation: Challenges of the Pro-Athlete Journey with Hannah Halvorsen, Hailey Swirbul, and Kate Barton

Rachel PerkinsDecember 1, 2021

In this episode, we have U.S. Ski Team members Hannah Halvorsen and Hailey Swirbul along with development team coach Kate Barton. The original idea behind the conversation was to discuss a variety of challenges female athletes of all levels experience during their careers based on an infographic posted by the organization Voice in Sport, shown below. 

An infographic from Voice in Sport showing some of the top challenges female athletes face. (Photo: Instagram @voiceinsport)

As the conversation evolved, it became clear that this conversation will resonate with athletes of all genders, ages, and level of competition. Yes — being one of the fittest women in the world and getting to travel the world is a wonderful privilege that many of us might fantasize about, however, we often only see the highlight reel. From social media to pressure, and “balance” to competition between teammates, these women shared powerful insights into their lives as athletes and coaches at the highest level of our sport. Hopefully, this perspective helps listeners recognize and support the whole person inside the lycra, on days where the pieces come together on the World Cup, the days they fall short of the goal, and all the days in between.

Some related reading that is discussed:

Hannah Halvorsen With a New Plan (details her story of being struck by a car and early recovery; find a follow up story here)

I Don’t Have a Six Pack, But a Car Hit Me and I Survived by Hannah Halvorsen

Hailey Swirbul’s Instagram Post on Mental Health and Letter to Her Younger Self

Brave Enough by Jessie Diggins (Reviewed on FS here, with more on her recovery and advocacy here.)

Hailey Swirbul and Hannah Halvorsen, along with D-Team coach Kate Barton, discuss the challenges of the pro-athlete journey in today’s episode of Nordic Nation. (Photo: Instagram @hannah.g.halvorsen)


Rachel Perkins

Rachel is an endurance sport enthusiast based in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado. You can find her cruising around on skinny skis, running in the mountains with her pup, or chasing her toddler (born Oct. 2018). Instagram: @bachrunner4646

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply