10 QUESTIONS WITH SYLVAN ELLEFSON
1. What will your season look like? Specifically, what races are you scheduling? What are you targeting?
I will be competing in the early season SuperTour Races in West Yellowstone and Bozeman. I will then continue up to Rossland, British Columbia for some NorAm races. Just targeting races with good skiers with some good FIS points.
2. This being an Olympic year, you are one of the top guys in the US with a chance to make that team. How do you deal with that pressure?
I deal with pressure by rearranging my goals. Obviously, the goal of the year is to make the Olympics, but I set my goals to a lesser degree that will help me get there. By this, I mean that my goals specifically include being SuperTour Leader and winning some races at US Nationals.
3. Anything new with your training this year compared to past years?
Not a whole lot has changed with training. I would say that my hours may have dropped a little bit from past years but the summer hours have stayed relatively the same. I was also able to run and run with poles this summer which I felt helped boost my fitness.
4. Who are your skiing heroes? Why?
I think that my global skiing hero would be Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset. I always wanted to be able to stride like him. But, if I had to boil it down it would actually be Kevin Höchtl (who is now one of my sponsors). He was always the guy I wanted to be. He was the one that made me realize it was possible to race on the World's stage.
5. Are there any stops that you particularly look forward to for the food / travel/ culture?
I really hope to make it back to Davos at some point. I really felt at home there and then between the amazing food, mountains, weather, and cross country skiing to be done, it doesn't compare to any other place I have been to.
6. In addition to Fischer, what other brands are supporting you and hence should be supported by skiers?
It is a pretty short list:
Ski and Snowboard Club Vail
Avignon Stone and Outdoor Living
Vail Valley Foundation
HWK Ski Wax
Happy Valley Grill
Big Delicious Catering
East West Partners
Slifer, Smith, and Frampton Real Estate
7. You’re renown for being deliberate with preparation. With the entirety of your career on Fischer skis and boots, what (if any) changes will you make to your fleet for the coming season for optimum performance?
I will make very little change to my fleet this year. I am very excited to be skiing on the new Speed Max skis, but because I have been with Fischer for so long now, I have built of a fleet of very reliable skis. This is why it has been so nice to be with Fischer for so long. I have learned the skis, taken notes, and I know how certain skis act in every type of snow/wether you throw at it.
8. What are your favorite conditions to race in?
I love a sunny day, transformed snow, right around 25 degrees and around 7000 - 8000ft in altitude.
9. In addition to making it to Sochi, what’s on your skiing bucket list?
Vasaloppet and the Engadin Ski Marathon. I also really want to do the Stowe Derby. I never got out to that one while I was in the east.
10. What advice do you wish you were given as a junior? What would you tell up-and-coming racers?
Have fun skiing while you're young. You can put in good hours of skiing even if you're out building jumps and chasing each other around a field of powder with no poles on. Also, never doubt yourself. Never. Always speak with words of encouragement and positivity. You are the one who takes you to the top and no one else.
Thanks, Sylvan! Best of luck this season!