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 20-year-old Alayna Sonnesyn, of the University of Vermont, who’s representing the U.S. at her first U23 Worlds. On Thursday, she finished 33rd in the women’s 10 k freestyle. She’s listed as a starter for Saturday’s 20 k skiathlon.
“My full name is Alayna Sonnesyn, but you can call me Alayna. I was born in Plymouth, Minn., raised in Plymouth, and one thing you should know about my hometown is it’s in the land of the lakes (donchya know?).
I started cross-country skiing when I was three, thanks to my parents. I currently train in Burlington, Vt., with the University of Vermont.
If I’m not skiing, you might find me studying chemistry. If I had to pick a favorite book, it would be ‘The Outlander‘.
One of the things I’m most excited about for U23/Junior Worlds at Soldier Hollow is it’s in AMERICA! One race I’m especially targeting there is the skiathlon.
The best advice anyone ever gave me about skiing or racing was have fun. One of the best race memories I have is skiing at my cabin with my family.
If I could meet one World Cup skier, it would be Heidi Weng.
If I don’t end up being a professional skier, I’ll probably be a pharmacist.
I’m missing six days of school to be here, and my professors are probably thinking, ‘Good luck.’
You can follow me on Instagram @asonnesyn.”