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 20-year-old Zak Ketterson, of Northern Michigan University, who represented the U.S. at his first U23 Worlds (after competing at 2016 Junior Worlds in Romania).
Last week in Goms, Ketterson placed 57th in the 15 k classic and 65th in the freestyle sprint.
“My full name is Zak Eduard Ketterson, but you can call me Zak.
I was born and raised in Bloomington, Minnesota, and I learned to ski at my high school in 7th grade. .
I spent the time between U.S. nationals and Junior/U23 Worlds training at home and at NMU.
The funnest workout I did in the last training year to prepare for this was tanning in Cannes, France, with my Norwegian NMU teammates and Leo Hipp.
This is my second time in Switzerland and fourth time racing internationally, and so far it’s been very focused.
One difference I’ve noticed between Switzerland and the U.S. is better manners at dinner.
Skiing and racing in the Alps is picturesque. Usually racing at altitude is fine for me because I tend to adjust fine. There are infinitely less 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 successful World Cup skiers.
One race I’m especially targeting there is the 15 k classic.
I really hope I can chat/make friends with someone from Russia and ask them what’s in the water over there.
My favorite thing at the breakfast where we are staying is that it is basically the same as NMU.
Fondue is overrated. The cheese here is really good but not that different from the U.S. And the chocolate — haven’t had any chocolate, won’t have any chocolate.
If I had a totally free day here and didn’t have to worry about race fitness or training, I’d spend it tanning outside and hiking up one of the biggest mountains.
The best way to follow me on social media is on Instagram @zaketterson.”