Caitlin Patterson #livetoski

American World Cup cross country skier Caitlin Patterson (USA) has made a stopover at the Fischer company between the training camps in Oberhof (GER) and Ramsau (AUT) and tells why cross country skiing is her life.

1. How was your summer at home?

It was a very good summer in the US for me for training. I went to Alaska, which is not actually, where I live the most of the time now. I had the opportunity to ski on a glacier. Otherwise, I have been mostly in Vermont where I am normally based for training. It is beautiful there and we had a pretty moderate summer, so it was good weather for training. We had lots of rollerskiing and running sessions.

2. Now you are in Middle Europe. What is your plan here?

I was in Oberhof, Germany, in the ski tunnel for about a week and we did a speed intensive camp with a lot of high speed training, remembering how to ski on snow and to make it really efficient and fast. Now I went over to Ramsau, Austria, where we will go for skiing at the Dachstein glacier and train in the mountains, running around with and without poles. I am really excited to be here in Europe and especially to come here and visit the Fischer factory.

3. Will you go back to the US before the season?

Yes, I will go back September 28th to the US to my homebase in Vermont and I will be doing some dryland training there, then I go to some US Ski Team Camp. We might be able to get on snow in Vermont afterwards, because my home area has saved some snow for the first time this year. It is the most southern place where they test to save snow, so we will see how it works. On November 18th I will come back to Europe for the beginning of the new season.

4. Is it an advantage or a disadvantage to stay so far away from home for the whole season?

It is a little bit of both. At the beginning of the year, it is really exciting to be on the road, to travel and to see all your skiing friends which we didn’t see for a while. I personally have not ever been in Europe the entire season yet, but perhaps this will be the first year. However, at the end of the year we have to be creative to make hotel life a bit like home life, talk to the family at home and still focus on skiing. That can be a challenge sometimes.

5. What is the secret behind the great spirit in the US Team?

Oh, I don’t know. Actually, it is a great collection of people. Everyone is very focused on skiing, but likes to have fun, too. It changes a bit from year to year in terms of the members, but most of the time we try to be a happy family on the road. Of course, there are some challenges, too. Racing is tough and there are head-head competitions, but definitely, it is a great team to be part of.

6. What is your favorite skiing destination?

This is not easy to answer. I think it is Seefeld, Austria, where the World Championships were. It is beautiful skiing on the tourist and the race tracks there. However, I also had a great spot where I went to highschool in Anchorage, Alaska. It is a great track system there with a lot of skiing under the lights, because it is dark during the winter.

7. Do you have a most funny moment in your career?

I have a younger brother who I am quite competitive with. We have a little rivalry going and ten years ago, we went to the World Juniors together. I finished 17th and he came up and was looking at the results of my race before his race. He then said “I am gonna beat you”. When his race happened an hour later, we looked at the result list together – and he was 17th place also. So we tie J.

8. What was your biggest moment in your cross country life?

When US Nationals was in Anchorage, Alaska, in the winter of 2018. It was going into the Olympic winter and I needed to qualify for the Olympic Team, which was a big goal of mine. We had four competitions. I am generally more of a distance skier, but at that week I was just feeling so good. First I won one distance race and then I won a sprint race which I have never done on a national level. And then I won another distance race and another sprint race. Finally, I won all of the four races. That was a very special week and it cemented my qualification for the Olympic Team.

9. Where do you get your motivation for training?

I love to train. Just to be outside to go for skiing or mountain running and even rollerskiing has its great moments. It helped me a lot to have a good selection of teammates around me. I think it is very important to get thru the tough days when it is much more difficult. I feel that I can still improve and challenge my own limits that is also big motivation for me.

10. How does an off weekend look like for you?

I like to do rock climbing. I guess on a free weekend I would go hiking. Hike up into the woods, maybe up a mountain and go for some rock climbing and read a book by a lake. Something close to my home, but still outside.

11. What is your main goal for the next season?

One of my big goals is consistency throughout the winter. To start strong and then built into the season more and more. I would really like to ski into the top 15 of the World Cup. That would be great and I am also motivated by the new Scandinavian Tour, because this event sounds like a great point to focus on with the six days in February, travelling by train and racing a point to point race which is very unique for us.

We wish you good luck and a lot of success.